CORONAVIRUS INNOVATION AWARD: COMMUNICATION
1. ATP #TennisAtHome
In the days following the suspension of the ATP Tour in March 2020 due to COVID-19, tennis was faced with difficult questions: how can we keep up communication with our fans and athletes, in a way that is authentic and valuable? How can we promote togetherness, connection and positivity in an uncertain new world of social distancing?
The answer was ATP #TennisAtHome, a unique user-generated social media campaign launched to meet the needs of an unprecedented global situation. The campaign called upon the tennis community to show how they were interacting with tennis from the confines of home.
The results exceeded all expectations: enormous fan and player engagement, content picked up by major international media outlets, and strengthened communication with the entire tennis community.
ATP #TennisAtHome showed that even when we are apart, tennis can bring us closer together.
2. Distributed Timekeeping by Swiss Timing
The COVID-19 pandemic brought the sport world to a stop with most events either postponed or cancelled. In an attempt to answer this crisis, right holders have turned to different forms of virtual alternatives to keep providing content to their audiences. We therefore asked ourselves: how could we contribute to BRING REAL SPORTS BACK ON TV and other digital platforms? Distributed Timekeeping was our answer!
Distributed Timekeeping consists in 3 unique novelties setting new technological standards in the sports event industry: Distributed Timing and Scoring, Virtual Photofinish and Remote Operations.
3. EFL and Mind – ‘Inside the Mind of’
As part of the EFL and Mind’s charity partnership, ten players and managers from across the League were announced as ‘On Your Side’ champions during Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 and took part in video interviews released daily across EFL social channels.
The interviews were conducted by EFL Ambassadors and Sky Sports presenter Scott Minto and broadcaster and mental health advocate Charlie Webster
Discussing their own mental health experiences, their time in lockdown and their advice for fans at present but also in regular life, the interviews ranged from 30 to 50 minutes long and provided fans with an honest look ‘Inside the Mind of’ some of their favourite managers and players in a way they hadn’t necessarily before.
4. Everton Family – Everton Football Club
In response to Covid-19, the Everton Family immediately put in place a multi-channel communications campaign for fans, staff, Everton in the Community participants and community stakeholders, to serve and inform its international community Everton’s Covid-19 communications falls into three categories: Blue Family, Corporate Communications and Internal Communications As part of its Blue Family campaign, the Club adapted its digital strategy to provide tailored educational resources, entertainment and public health information reaching over 24 5million people in just the first four weeks and to date, Blue Family content has generated more than 7 million video views, 40million impressions and more than 1million engagements on social media Engagement was at the heart of all communications, with the Club and charity listening to fans’ needs to curate content, arrange feel good experiences for fans, and inform the wider Club response. Those in need can request support from the Club’s Blue Family Campaign – the first coronavirus response campaign set up in football – easily. More than 16,250 check-in phone calls have been made to those in social isolation, and around the world. Everton Connect, an online programme created and led by staff, has also kept staff connected and provided wellbeing resources.
5. ITTF Foundation
It was an absolutely different celebration, but as magnificent as in previous years: World Table Tennis ‘at Home’ Day on 6 April 2020! People from 171 countries and regions were physically distanced, but socially united, to celebrate this special day! Covid-19 changed everyone’s life as it did with World Table Tennis Day 2020 plans turning them upside down. Besides all obstacles, new strength and new ideas were mixed with the old vision of WTTD of popularity, universality and inclusiveness inviting everyone, everywhere to use random objects that they could find around the house to hit the ball in the bedroom, kitchen, garage, etc.
Thanks to 3882 passionate table tennis players world-wide who participated in the longest, craziest table tennis rally the world has ever seen, the celebration was huge focussing on the power of table tennis to stay safe, active and healthy by flattening the curve and blocking the virus! Our table tennis family stood together demonstrating how to tackle boredom and how to have fun while staying in quarantine. We let everybody know that NO ONE has to face this pandemic alone:
Best of Craziest Longest Table Tennis Rally Ever: https://www youtube com/watch v=Dr5MrWVYAjQ
Full version: https://youtu.be/ZfPqMStMNcU
6. Manchester United
Match Rewind was an innovative reaction to the COVID-19 period, engaging with and delivering to fans in real-time, the closest thing to a live sport experience: 3 times a week, Man Utd fans from all over the world voted for classic matches to be streamed on our official platforms, with multiple themes: Classic European finals, Legendary performances, wins vs top rivals,…
To decide on the match, fan votes were gathered via the official app and website, to select their favourite match, to re-watch live. Following this, every match was then live streamed the following day on MUTV and official club app and website. Across social platforms, multiple ‘as live’ posts were published: lineups of the match, photos, ‘goal of the day’ , photo galleries, ‘match reports’, …
Match Rewind ran for over 10 weeks during the lockdown period, ahead of live sport returning, and generated over 1 million votes in total from over 200 countries. This became our most engaged show on MUTV On social channels, millions of fans engaged with build-up posts.
7. Midea Home Challenge and Manchester City
Midea, one of the world’s largest and most successful appliance producers, had just announced a brand-new partnership with Manchester City. Then, without warning, the most significant health pandemic of our generation strikes, and football is off the cards for the foreseeable future…what do you do?
No live sport means no exposure, no association, none of those magic moments filled with emotion that the marketing team pitched to the boardroom to get the deal done.
So, how does an appliance company with a brand-new Man City partnership engage millions of fans around the world who are stuck at home with no football?
The #MideaHomeChallenge, that’s how! A six-week campaign featuring Man City players, legends and coaches taking part in a variety of challenges and trick-shots involving everyday appliances.
With the success and virality of the ‘Loo Roll Challenge’ taking the world by storm at that time, we were confident this re-shaped idea, relevant for Midea, would resonate.
And thankfully, when you have a bunch of competitive football lads sitting at home, looking for something to escape the boredom, throwing out a challenge they can do from the comfort of their own home seemed like a no-brainer. We were right!
8. Professional Darts Corporation
The PDC Home Tour was the only UK-based sporting competition being played during the lockdown period, broadcasting 43 nights of darts featuring four-player groups competing between April 17-June 5.
The tournament involved players broadcasting from home, while commentator Dan Dawson presented all 43 nights, which were broadcast for free through the PDCTV streaming service, through the Sky Sports App and various worldwide broadcasters.
9. Standard Chartered Tweet Victory for Liverpool FC
As Liverpool FC raised the Premier League Trophy for the first time in 30-years it would be behind closed doors due to COVID-19. Standard Chartered knew LFC fans were hungry to be close to this moment and share their celebration with the team. So, we invited fans to be a part of this historic moment.
We tirelessly collected #StandRed tweets of congratulations and printed them on sustainable confetti. The fan confetti; every piece printed with a different message of fan support, was launched 15-meters high to rain down on the Liverpool FC Players as the world watched. The fans tweets were collated from more than 60-countries to truly give access to all and have heartfelt messages of congratulations reach the Liverpool FC players.
Fan’s pride illumined the night sky, it was captured by every media outlet and it put millions of fans, virtually, in the same place as their winning team! This simple campaign garnered over 8-million views on Standard Chartered and Liverpool FC social channels, with less than US$55k media spend.
Putting fans at the heart of celebration, now that’s Tweet Victory.
Because it’s better together with Standard Chartered.
10. West Ham United and Experience Kissimmee
Experience Kissimmee created a bespoke experience for West Ham United fans during an unprecedented worldwide global pandemic. Whilst families were unable to attend games, socialise or even meet outdoors, the Best Seat in the house concept brought fans together to watch their beloved team alongside Legends of the game, from the comfort of their own homes. Ahead of every home Premier League game, West Ham United fans were invited to enter the competition and explain why they deserved to enjoy a unique experience, courtesy of Experience Kissimmee. Experience Kissimmee facilitated a money can’t buy experience that engaged with supporters, virtually, and further supported their objective of driving affiliation between families and the brand. Fans joined Club Legends including Marlon Harewood and Jack Collison to watch the final 5 home games of the season, hearing their exclusive insight into the games taking place, as well as listening to stories from their own playing careers. Over 200 fans entered throughout the campaign, with five lucky winners sitting alongside their heroes in the ‘Best Seat in the House’.