We started our journey with FIFA in 2019, executing an ambitious YouTube strategy.
We expanded our relationship in 2020, and with the impact of the pandemic, alongside FIFA we conceived what would become the multi-award-winning #WorldCupAtHome campaign. This campaign would go on to become one of YouTube’s top 3 most successful campaigns of 2020 and achieve several industry awards.
In 2021, our relationship with FIFA expanded again, as we became their partner for all Digital Platform Services. This included:
Developing the content strategy for FIFA’s digital channels
Growing the size of the global audience and engagement
Driving commercial opportunities through direct and indirect revenue streams
Supporting media rights licensees (MRLs) with content and consultancy
Managing the relationship between FIFA and the platform partners (Facebook and YouTube)
Providing regular business intelligence and reports on content and channel performance.
The partnership with FIFA and our innovative approach proved to be a resounding success.
FIFA’s digital channels achieved record-breaking results in reach, video views, watch-time and audience growth in 2021. We manage to surpass every record for performance in a non-World Cup year and our 2021 performance was the second-highest ever, behind only that of the 2018 World Cup.
The European Club Association (ECA) – the sole, independent body directly representing the interests of 246 professional football clubs across Europe – appointed us to help develop and deliver a new social media strategy.
The organisation wanted to align social campaigns with its purpose of ‘Placing Clubs at the Heart of Football’, by bringing Europe’s leading clubs together as friends off the pitch to drive and inspire the development of the game.
Our primary objective was to drive brand awareness across Europe, achieved through social media content strategy and production. We have also evolved the KPI management framework, and consistently measure and report on all relevant social activities.
Creating and monitoring engaging content has been central to our work with the ECA.
We have produced and published dynamic social content (including educational and informative videos) on an almost daily basis, as well as static and animated social media templates.
As part of this content remit, we conducted a social media audit to better understand how the ECA was performing online, which included audience segmentation and analysis of messaging. Based on these insights, we provided the ECA with a host of well-received recommendations for the future.
We also helped the ECA launch its maiden women’s football strategy, ‘Be a Changemaker’ in 2021. The programme aims to help clubs create a better tomorrow for women’s football through creative actions that deliver lasting change.
Our other activity has included providing communications support during the European Super League breakaway crisis and facilitating live streaming events and General Assemblies.
Thanks to our efforts, the ECA has continued to grow its reach and influence at a time when digital acceleration is driving fundamental change in the structures that underpin sport.
Increase in channel reach
Boost in profile visits
Increase in channel audience growth
"The appointment of WePlay is a statement of our intent to help our clubs to connect the dots between the sporting and commercial landscape. WePlay bring a strong track record in delivering targeted digital growth outcomes for leading rightsholders across Europe and beyond.”
The NBA approached us with a brief for strategic growth consultancy work in key emerging markets including Mexico, Latin America (LATAM) and Brazil.
Our objective was to conduct a social media and paid media audit for each region, analyse current performance, benchmark existing data against key metrics and provide strategic recommendations for future growth.
The auditing strategy for paid and organic social followed five stages: data harvesting, segmentation, scoring, benchmarking and recommendations.
We measured Facebook, Instagram and Twitter performance for each region based on specific criteria such as:
SEO (YouTube only)
optimisation (YouTube only)
Regional scores were benchmarked against other NBA regions and sports, and we presented strategic growth recommendations for these emerging markets.
NBA LATAM’s YouTube organic social, for example, needed to be stronger. We aimed to take the channel to 80%-90% optimal, focusing on key attributes such as content distribution strategy, increased frequency of posting and format experimentation.
Our analysis also revealed a major over-reliance on in-season fixture periods to drive social performance.
We harvested previous-years data, split into pre-season, in-season, NBA play-offs/finals and off-season categories. We discovered the vast majority of reach, engagement and growth occurred during the season and play-offs. A compelling growth opportunity to explore out-of-season and pre-season content was identified to increase engagement rates and lift performance across the year.
NBA LATAM, for example, had only achieved a 4.8% market penetration on Facebook and Instagram. Data showed 77 million users were interested in basketball in LATAM, yet only 3.7 million follow the NBA LATAM social pages. Similar growth opportunities existed across Mexico and Brazil.
Using this business intelligence, we formulated a clear, coherent and multi-layer strategy for Royal Belgian Football Association (RBFA) to achieve ambitious monthly active user targets.
The program focused on an app install and retention strategy with three key components:
App Store optimisation
We advised addressing App Store visibility, conversion and performance. This meant managing meta-data, creating new app screenshots and videos to drive downloads, and improving the personalised sign-up process.
We also suggested integrating app promotion into regular social content planning and distribution, and proposed paid media campaigns to drive app downloads – including projections, budget suggestions, targeting, ad creative, in-platform media management and reporting.
We supported European Tour with an end-to-end digital marketing service in order to drive ticket acquisitions, awareness, engagement and growth across marquee tournaments such as the BMW PGA Championships, the Irish Open, the Scottish Open, the Senior Open and the British Masters.
Our strategy for ticket acquisition is based on three phases; awareness, consideration and conversion, with each phase having key performance indicators to demonstrate measurable changes in fan behaviour through the purchase funnel.
As with all campaigns, our process begins by analysing client-owned data, which includes previous buyers on a CRM database, in this case, MyEuropeanTour. Personalised messaging is created for these buyers and new content is A/B tested for prospecting audiences. Those who had not purchased tickets before are divided into two broad categories:
Connected fans,who had visited the European Tour website or engaged with social content
Cold prospects, who are currently outside the Tour’s media ecosystem
Audience purchase intent is assessed via several methods and these are segregated accordingly and served bespoke tailored messaging. Paid social, paid search and contextual programmatic strategies were then activated to maximise our ability to reach the right audience, in the right environment, at the right time.
The partnership produced a significant commercial return for the European Tour, as well as record sales figures at several events including the Scottish Open and Irish Open.
We also doubled the size of the Tour’s MyEuropeanTour CRM database and reached over 25 million new golf fans through paid activation of organic content, raising awareness and engagement of the sport.
CPA year-on-year reduction
Year-on-year revenue growth
"We are constantly pushing boundaries in our content and commercial marketing efforts, and our work with WePlay is yet another element of our digital transformation. WePlay are doing a fantastic job in helping us to reach new audiences and grow our revenues through digital."
Our partnership commenced with an objective to increase attendance at the Müller Anniversary Games and to ensure spend efficiencies across an allocated media budget. WePlay blended art (creative) and science (consultancy) to execute a blueprint to reach, engage and convert relevant audiences.
Utilising a targeted, reactive prospecting campaign, we ran a data-driven approach to build comprehensive custom audiences for each stage of the user journey (awareness, consideration and conversion).
Following the games and into the lead up to Tokyo Olympics, we conducted a diligent scoping and analysis phase across the athletics and sporting creative landscape. This was followed by the development of a brand refresh for British Athletics, with a new overarching season key visual that was adapted across their portfolio of events. This new creative highlighted British Athletics’ culture and range of disciplines, as well as visually referencing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Our campaigns used the power of digital marketing to reach new, online audiences and drive incremental audience growth year-on-year to the Müller Anniversary Games.
With a strong creative rebrand, the campaign artwork was used in digital assets as well as being developed for websites, stadium screens, programme covers and live event elements to bring creative all the way through the user journey, achieving outstanding results: