The perfect influencers to connect with football fans
The best way to reach Generation Z is through influencers, but it can be challenging to identify these opinion leaders. For this campaign, we created an innovative listening system to detect interaction opportunities and generate “influencer intelligence”.
RESEARCH & INSIGHT
Manchester City Football Club, one of the most innovative teams in the world, wanted to use their two-week pre-season tour of the United States to generate maximum awareness, grow their fan community in the US and increase engagement with the brand.
The first step was to understand that, as part of Generation Z, young sports fans and football followers are not passive consumers. They want to see themselves as part of the story and as co-creators. They want a brand that inspires them and, at the same time, that takes them into account.
The second step was to specifically target football fans in the US, who have different habits and interests than the equivalent audience in Europe. Through in-depth market analysis, we made two key discoveries:
- Freestyle football was all the rage in the US.
- Women in the sport had a much greater social media impact in the US than in Europe.
STRATEGY & CREATIVITY
We understood that social media and influencers were the best way to reach Manchester City’s target audience. In addition, we needed users to actively interact with the brand and in which they felt part of the activation.
We kicked off the #ManCityTrickshot competition, a nationwide challenge to find the best football tricks and reward the winners with a trip to join the team at Football Fest, a big football party hosted by MCFC in Los Angeles.
We chose Indie Cowie, America’s #1 freestyle influencer, as our ambassador to launch the competition alongside MCFC and US national team star Carli Lloyd and invited top football influencers to participate.
In addition to the competition, we created the Man City Influencer Office to build and strengthen lasting relationships with key influencers. We applied a one-to-one listening approach, using a cloud-based solution to detect interaction opportunities and generate ‘influencer intelligence’. We worked with a PR approach to build personal relationships and give influencers access to exclusive, personalised content tailored to each individual, maximising their potential. We also identified opportunities for influencers to create content around each match, interacting with them before, during and after the games and inviting them to attend in person and create their own posts, videos and stories.
Our influencer strategy had very positive results, especially considering that MCFC’s star players were not involved. Key to the campaign’s success was the user-generated branded content resulting from the strategic selection of influencer profiles. These influencers brought the team closer to the US audience and, through authentic and credible content, drove users to interact with the brand organically. The Instagram videos generated by the influencers managed to quadruple the average number of views obtained by MCFC.