State of Play – Are You Seizing The Lockdown Opportunity?

By George News, WePlay Comments Off on State of Play – Are You Seizing The Lockdown Opportunity?

Welcome to the March edition of State of Play, our free monthly intelligence report with the actionable insights and digestible analysis to help you win in the digital age


Stay-at-home orders continue to remain in place for many around the globe, the turnstiles remain closed and the streets remain quiet. However, the digital world is continuing as a hive of activity.

This month’s agenda explores:

  1. Lockdown Campaign Opportunities
  2. Snapchat’s Year In Sport
  3. A Virtual Stadium Launch & TikTok E-Commerce Updates

Let’s crack on.

Client Corner


Taking a look behind the scenes at our active campaign insights, testing, and the actions we’re taking to help our clients win

Lockdown - A Hidden Opportunity?

As global vaccine roll-outs continue to pick up pace and roadmaps to ease restrictions begin to take form, we can start to look forward to life returning to ‘normal’. However, there’s no point putting the brakes on campaigns until then. We’ve been comparing performance metrics across our campaigns from periods of ‘lockdown’ compared to ‘non-lockdown’ across Europe – let’s take a look at the results.

Interestingly, CPMs (cost-per-thousand impressions) are around 50% lower in periods of lockdown vs non-lockdown, with CTRs (click-through rates) remaining static, even increasing in some cases. It would suggest that, in times of reduced online advertising competition, there is an opportunity for sports organisations to run cost-effective, engaging online campaigns whilst restrictions remain in place.

Moreover, these cost efficiencies have been bolstered by an increase in campaign effectiveness, with conversion rates and ROAS (return-on-ad-spend) increasing by up to 300% in some cases. However, what comes down must also go back up, so whilst there is an opportunity now, be prepared to upweight your budget to align with the expected inflation of buying metrics as restrictions begin to ease and online competition increases once again.

(Virtual) Tickets Please!

The Milan Derby is one of the most hotly contested football matches across the globe, with tickets almost impossible to come by – but not this year. WePlay partnered with AC Milan on their pioneering #DerbyTogether virtual ticketing campaign, offering fans the opportunity to purchase a personalised virtual ticket for a seat in the stadium, wherever they were based across the world.

Despite an unfortunate result on the field, off the pitch was an outstanding success. We observed a 38.7% increase in conversion rates within Italy for virtual tickets, compared to pre-COVID campaigns for live games at the San Siro. Not only that, but the virtual environment provided the opportunity to reach new audiences and gain global exposure, with 21% lower CPMs internationally compared to live game campaigns.

It represents yet another example of the innovative use of digital to deliver audience and revenue growth for sports organisations and a ground-breaking foray into the world of live virtual ticketing. We’re excited to see how this space evolves and develops as live sport returns.

From The Commentary Box


Exploring the latest consumer and industry trends, platform consumption habits, and marketing strategy updates impacting today and shaping tomorrow

Snapchat - A Year in Sport

As part of our continued Collaboration Club, WePlay Campaign Executive, Billy Brightmore, sat down with our team to share the latest developments from Snapchat’s involvement in the world of sport during 2020. In particular, he explored how Snapchat can be used to engage Gen Z sporting audiences.

The platform claims to reach 90% of 13-24 year-olds across the US, more than Facebook and Instagram combined.* In fact, as many as 40% of the US Gen Z population watch sports Discover content – a page showcasing daily videos from publishers and creators – each month.** Rather than being a central sporting hub of live content for Gen Z, the platform can be used to supplement and enhance the wider sporting experience and facilitate social interactions between users. Brands and clubs are able to utilise Snapchat lenses and augmented reality (AR) to get closer to audiences and build personal connections with them as part of the game-day experience.

A particularly innovative case in using this technology was by Coca-Cola, who quite literally brought their product to life through the platform’s AR features. It would seem to be an effective strategy for other brands to explore: Snapchat reports that campaigns using AR lenses typically see a 25% higher lift in awareness and a 2.4x increase in average purchase intent.***

*Social Media Today
**Zephoria
***Snap Inc Q4 2020 Earnings Report

On The Lookout


The latest brand movements, platform updates, and BETA products that we’re keeping an eye on

To read this section, which includes insights on the latest TikTok e-commerce integrations and what the launch of Esports team Liquid’s ‘virtual stadium’ means for sports organisations, please sign-up to State of Play via the below form and click ‘past editions’ in your welcome email.

It will also ensure that you receive a monthly batch of the latest insights. trends, and developments from the world of sports marketing directly to your inbox, curated to ensure that you’re armed to capture the growth opportunities of the digital age.

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