SBD/June 20, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

MLS Deploys Superhero Narrative For Digital Campaign Around FIFA World Cup

Dynamo's Garcia gets superhero treatment
in MLS campaign
MLS has brought the idea that athletes "are heroic" to life in a "new lo-fi, high-tech digital campaign" for the FIFA World Cup, according to Matt Van Hoven of DIGIDAY. The league "asked its 'young, tech-savvy fans' last month to choose the superpowers of seven pro players." The league then "employed old-school illustrators, Vine and Snapchat influencers to transform the seven players into superheroes with attributes like super speed and the ability to turn into a brick wall." Featured players included Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Boniek Garcia, Kyle Beckerman, Omar Gonzalez, Graham Zusi and Tim Cahill. Four illustrators, five Vine influencers and one Snapchat whiz "brought the heroes to life in the campaign, which launched June 10." The Vine and Snapchat artists "all work with GrapeStory, the marketing agency and production house" founded by brothers Gary and AJ Vaynerchuk and Jerome Jarre. MLS said that the campaign "has already reached 40 million people." MLS Digital VP Chris Schlosser added that this reach "has led to 'record engagement' for the brand, which is finding its audience through an MLS Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, mlssoccer.com and KICKTV, a RebelMouse page that aggregates MLS content" (DIGIDAY.com, 6/20).

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS: Following a goal by England F Wayne Rooney against Uruguay yesterday, which was his first at a World Cup, Nike on its official Twitter feed sent out a Vine video with the hashtag #riskeverything. That vine engaged with over 500 fans in less than two minutes, according to an analysis by Atlanta-based CSE. Just moments later, Uruguay F Luis Suarez scored his second goal of the game and following the game, adidas on its official feed tweeted out, “Two good. Luis Suarez #allin or nothing.” Two minutes after that adidas tweet, team Uruguay’s sponsor Puma tweeted out an image of the team celebrating with the hashtag #GarraCharrua. The Charrua are an indigenous people in Uruguay and “Garra” means to have moxie (CSE).
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