Manchester United is one of the biggest global sporting brands but at the beginning of 2014 they were struggling due to a drop in form following the
departure of renowned manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Despite their difficulties Manchester United have an asset unique in the global sporting community – they are the world’s most supported sporting club with over 650 million fans.
We were tasked with using Google+ to help their vast global fanbase connect with their team in an engaging way at a time when the club needed the support more than ever. Our creative idea was based on the insight that despite the size of their fanbase only 1% of fans will ever watch a game in person at the team’s grounds at Old Trafford in Manchester.
We created a media partnership between Google+ and Manchester United and in
a world first turned Old Trafford’s pitchside digital hoardings into a virtual ‘front
row’ so that fans from around the globe could cheer on their favourite team, live,
via Google + Hangout during Manchester United v. Liverpool on 16th March 2014.
Our idea was a world technology and media first – it was the first use of Google+ Hangouts outside of Google’s own channels and the first time anything had been displayed live on pitchside hoardings anywhere in the world.
The campaign was truly integrated across film, outdoor, digital and social – all created and run by adam&eveDDB in London. Teaser and fan recruitment films were seeded across Google+ and Manchester United’s web and social channels, after which 22 fans from around the world were chosen to appear on the new broadcast and outdoor medium through the use of Google+ Hangouts on pitch side hoardings.
A film following the event featuring several of the lucky few who were chosen – Lee and Thendo from South Africa, Nina from Ethiopia, Jorge from Mexico, Louis from Malaysia, Maria from USA and Hefani from Namibia – was then broadcast on the same channels.
A live global audience of nearly 100 million saw the event happen on TV during the match and #frontrow trended globally on both Google+ and Twitter, Manchester United’s profile became the fastest growing Google+ page globally following a 250% increase in growth rate and there were 350+ press and blog articles about new technology.
1x Grand Prix