Betfair is constantly pushing the envelope to find innovative ways of using their sponsorship assets. Whether that is quirky player challenges to capitalise on the sporting agenda, a ten pin bowling viral showcasing Betfair’s mobile offering (see video below), or a pioneering deal to place QR codes on GB’s beach volleyball players’ bottoms at the London 2012 Test Event, the emphasis is on doing things differently.
Bringing a fresh approach to sponsorship activation comes naturally for a company founded and driven by innovation. Another pillar of Betfair’s marketing philosophy is to ‘live and breathe social’ – as outlined by Betfair’s Head of Online Marketing, Ben Carter (@bensaint). Social is not treated as an add-on to marketing activity, but is put at the heart of campaigns. As a sponsor of Manchester United, with their 21m+ Facebook likes, it makes sense for Betfair to engage the club’s fanbase through social channels.
So what did Synergy suggest when given a couple of hours’ access to some Manchester United players on an (inevitably) wet January afternoon in Manchester? Stage a live Q&A with United players on Betfair’s Facebook page, giving fans the chance to interact with their idols by submitting questions or posting comments during the live broadcast via Facebook and Twitter.
Working alongside Betfair’s in-house production team, real-time broadcast experts Livestream, and MUTV, we helped deliver Betfair presents Man Utd live - an exclusive 30 minute programme hosted by TV presenter Rachel Brookes and featuring Michael Carrick, Ashley Young and Nani. Supporters were able to watch the action by simply ‘liking’ the Betfair Facebook page, and could submit questions or comments by tweeting @BetfairSports with the #MUlive hashtag.
Once again, doing things differently paid off. Over 40,000 people tuned in to watch, close to 1,000 questions were received during the broadcast, and tweets of the #MULive hashtag reached over 3.8 million people (source: Tweetreach). Synergy’s PR team managed the external pre-promotion through football blogs and forums, and the post-event syndication of content and quotes to key media targets, resulting in over 100 pieces of online coverage. Quotes featured in three national print newspapers, and branded footage was included in ITV Granada Reports in the build up to the weekend’s game against Arsenal.
What else did we learn from our inaugural live interactive Facebook broadcast? For a start that Nani regularly gets the hairdryer treatment from Sir Alex. For more insights, you’ll have to watch the webcast for yourself….
By Synergy on January 25th, 2012