Dunlop Sport, established in 1910, is one of the UK’s most iconic British racquet sport apparel brands. It is the Official Ball of the ATP Tour, whose events include the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, the annual year-end men’s ATP exhibition tennis finals for the best eight 21-and-under players of the ATP season, in addition to the Nitto ATP Finals, a round-robin format featuring the best eight ATP players from the season.
As the lead digital comms agency for the brand activation, WePlay managed on digital and influencer strategies alongside creative and content supported by an onsite activation, as well as planning, operations and logistics to deliver a digital fan wall on the Dunlop Sports stand at both back-to-back ATP Finals events in Italy.
Working closely with Dunlop’s Italian team, we delivered a two-week onsite digital brand activation. Our objectives included creating and managing daily content for Dunlop’s digital fan wall on their stands, engaging with tennis fans and consumers through social media, growing Dunlop’s social media channels and creating and sharing daily content through partnerships with leading Italian influencers.
On the Dunlop stand at each event, we managed a Digital Fan Wall, publishing social media and branded content using our own trackable ‘#DunlopOnTour’.
Across both events we hosted eight of Italy’s most popular tennis influencers, providing them with tickets to matches and VIP hospitality so that they could share Dunlop branded content across their social media audiences, featuring our hashtag.
Our influencer activation included delivering an off-site coaching clinic at Milan’s top private member’s tennis club, led by a Dunlop brand ambassador and current professional ATP tour player.
Throughout both ATP finals, we took charge of the community management for Dunlop Sports’ social media channels, creating reels, photos and other short-form content on the ground to capture the amazing atmosphere at both events.
Our branded video content was boosted online through a targeted paid social media campaign through the duration of both events, increasing audience reach and enabling channel growth and fan engagement.
To implement a successful customer acquisition strategy, it is important to build a picture of the types of audiences and customers that our Partner is seeking to engage.
We always take a holistic approach to Growth Marketing, looking at audiences, data and consumer behaviours, to build a segmentation plan we can begin to act upon.
When it came to the UFC and their OTT platform, UFC Fight Pass, our approach to audience segmentation covered ingestion of data from the following sources:
site traffic for retargeting
lookalike profiles based on CRM data
people following the UFC page, who hadn’t converted
fans following fighters and rival MMA organisations
Our goal when reviewing the data, was to develop a network of fans who were displaying a higher propensity to convert at the point of purchase.
We analysed a variety of search data, from fighter names to event names and broader MMA terms. This allowed us to understand what users searched for online so media could be targeted more effectively with the right messages at the right time to the right person.
With these insights in hand, we implemented an effective customer acquisition strategy that would deliver paid subscriptions and reduce high levels of churn.
Using first-party data, our ‘connected audiences’ and a prospecting set of engaged combat sports fans, we activated global media campaigns that were both personalised and tailored to individual local markets.
Campaigns were optimised and developed through local language, which included markets such as Russia and Japan, whereby localised assets and creative were developed and deployed.
We also identified new strategic opportunities in countries with a large MMA fanbase and enough disposable income to afford the product, namely Mexico, Poland and Kazakhstan.
With pandemic restrictions preventing supporters from attending matches, AC Milan needed to find new ways to grow.
Our solution was a best-in-class D2C strategy to convert interest into action and build loyal audiences.
We unearthed insights revealing the club enjoyed a 170% increase in return on ad spend (ROAS) for social followers compared to general audiences. Social followers also spent twice as much online at the AC Milan store.
We also discovered purchase likelihood was increased by fan engagement. Those who downloaded the AC Milan app, for example, showed a 2.5x higher conversion rate than social followers.
Our commercial growth efforts aimed to convert new audiences into social followers, and social followers into loyal fans:
Ticketing strategy to bring fans back to the San Siro, using CRM, first-party data, search and social engagement, and creative visuals with strong CTAs
Merchandising with full-funnel audiences to drive engagement, traffic and sales through the online store via paid social campaigns on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok
Social growth efforts on the club’s Facebook, Instagram and TikTok channels to increase the size of commercially valuable engager segments
Amplifying club content – MilanTV on Amazon and the Racconti Rossoneri podcast – utilising paid media to drive traffic to official landing pages.
With a full-service approach that combines strategy, creative and paid media to deliver success, we are proud to have been able to drive scaled growth for the club, attracting more fans to the glorious San Siro, increasing average revenue per user and growing the overall AC Milan fanbase.
Ticketing – Return on ad spend
Retail and official merchandise
"Our relationship with WePlay has helped us to welcome new fans into the AC Milan community, which is an important part of our ambitious plans to drive revenue for the club."
We analysed Utah Jazz’s digital data points across social, web and CRM to collate audience learnings, and identify crossovers, gaps and opportunities. This helped us understand:
Deterministic data – purchase behaviour, subscription history, log-in/survey data
Third-party data – browsing behaviour, search patterns, content consumption
Demographic data – age and gender, location, profession/education
We know that engaged fans drive increased response so we defined the pathway to purchase and identified high-value audiences – including local, national and global fans.
Social growth focuses primarily on Facebook and TikTok. We run a ‘glocal’ campaign strategy to engage non-English speaking markets, using translated copy and localised assets.
To boost ticket sales, we target rich data segments with paid social and search campaigns to drive ‘fear of missing out’ by showcasing epic scenes fans can only experience in-person. This involves eye-popping creative in various ad formats, with conversion through response-optimised creative assets.
To boost merchandise sales, data-led planning and use of best-in-class biddable tech platforms optimises and serves ads in real-time to key audiences.
Paid media drives awareness and enquiries of summer camps, with data-led content and messaging that spans the full conversion funnel.
Working alongside the Utah Jazz as a strategic growth partner, WePlay has driven success across all of our core workstreams. This includes a substantial increase in social followers, achieving our season’s target in just two months, a marked uplift in ticket sales and new revenue streams for merchandising on the official Utah Jazz team store.
Yokohama Tyres is a global tyre manufacturing company based in Tokyo, Japan. Ahead of the 2015/16 Premier League season, Yokohama announced a £200m, five-year partnership with Chelsea FC, making it one of the most lucrative shirt sponsorships ever signed.
This partnership gave Yokohama a compelling opportunity to showcase its brand to a global audience, thanks to Chelsea FC’s ever-growing popularity.
We were appointed lead digital and social media agency to activate the partnership, creating outstanding social campaigns to amplify the brand to new audiences.
Our work with Yokohama Tyres is a seven-year story of client services and best-in-class content marketing that mirrors Chelsea’s on-field success.
When first partnering with Yokohama Tyres, we identified key target audiences to produce an engagement-led, social-first content strategy. This was the key to driving significant growth in global brand and product awareness.
Our objective was to engage, excite and delight audiences around the world, telling the brand’s story through the lens of football. The strategy involved owned and paid channels, and was activated across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Content was designed to reach a global audience of fans. With an ‘always-on’ approach, we developed digital and social campaigns around Chelsea fixtures, player birthdays, seasons and cultural celebrations. We also rewarded fans’ participation with free tickets and merchandise.
Our seven-year relationship with Yokohama Tyres has delivered some remarkable results for the brand.
As of January 2022, Yokohama Tyres has a following of more than 740,000 engaged fans on social media, with a reach of more than 400 million people globally.
We’re proud to say WePlay has helped the brand surpass many rivals in the tyre industry as the second-most followed company in the category.
engaged fans on Yokohama’s social channels
most followed tyre brand in its category
"WePlay have provided Yokohama Tyres with digital marketing expertise since 2015. Our relationship with the agency has helped activate the shirt sponsorship with Chelsea Football Club and increase the brand awareness of Yokohama Tyres around the world and more importantly, our key markets"
Kazu Sekiguchi, Head of Chelsea FC Task Force, Yokohama Tyres
UK-based, David Beckham-backed professional esports company, Guild Esports briefed us on driving ambitious growth targets across its owned social channels, merchandise and commercial partner activations.
Guild’s brand awareness and fandom is key to helping the company secure lucrative partnerships.
We needed to develop a growth strategy that capitalises on booming tickets, merchandise and game publisher investment revenues, to create more loyal followers and convert fan interest into spend.
Our approach amplified content across multiple channels to maximise reach and engagement, using refined, data-informed audiences; including younger Gen Z segments with unique consumption patterns.
We needed to supplement our media plan with inventory and data sources outside the major platforms – such as Google and Facebook – and sought to incorporate emerging, innovative environments like Discord, TikTok and Twitch.
Using content as the engagement mechanism within an omni-social, audience-first paid amplification strategy, the campaign delivered numerous primary and secondary benefits to the brand. These included:
increasing value/performance of sponsorship packages, amplifying them to the most relevant sub-audiences for higher engagement rates
boosting reach and awareness of Guild and its products, catalysing membership applications, retail sales and stream viewers
growing the follower base by increasing monetisation/ad revenue and building first-party data
We’ve helped Guild surpass 1 million social media followers – cementing its position as the fastest-growing esports organisation in Europe – through tactical, high-performing audience acquisition and content discovery campaigns, as well as key partnership activations.
reach of hyper-targeted e-sports fans across social media
We unearthed insights that helped inform, fine-tune and maximise the effectiveness of PSG’s digital campaigns.
Due to the disruption of the pandemic in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons it became clear that commercial revenue would be the most important source of income for top-tier European clubs such as PSG.
Our insights show that clubs need to innovate commercial revenue streams so growth can continue; particularly by investing in sponsorship activation, online retail, SVOD, membership and monetisation.
At the awareness stage, we sought to grow audiences via Facebook page likes, content boosting, and social engagement.
We adopted a variety of tactics, including data-led geo-targeting to PSG’s connected fanbase, elevating brand identity among tourists and leveraging international superstar players from the first team in media targeting.
We focused on lead generation activities and app downloads to drive audiences through the funnel. We created custom audiences of engagers to retarget and drive to the app; this was key given a 2.5x higher conversion rate from app users vs. social engagers, plus a 1.7x higher ROAS from app users vs. social engagers.
Paid media campaigns – including users directed to the MyParis subscription page offering PSG Store discounts – converted interest into action and boosted revenue.
Rights owner, Abu Dhabi Media, and OTT platform provider, Endeavor Streaming together appointed WePlay as their MENA digital marketing agency to develop and execute an ambitious Growth Marketing strategy.
As part of our campaign delivery, we developed and executed a multi-channel product launch and acquisition campaign to drive app downloads, lead generation, and subscriptions to the new UFC Arabia product.
Our approach comprised four stages: Awareness, Consideration, Download, and Conversion (paid-for subscriptions).
The strategy was formed on the basis of our extensive experience and research within the streaming landscape.
This strategic approach was powered by the production of a bespoke audience segmentation strategy for the 14 selected MENA markets that the UFC Arabia product was being marketed to.
With the primary objective of delivering paid-for subscriptions, it is essential with any campaign forecasting that we build our commercial models in accordance with budgets, expected performance metrics and of course our revenue goals in mind.
With this campaign, there were several stages to consider. The unique selling point of the product was the exclusivity of the rights available. UFC Arabia is the only place you can officially watch the UFC fights within the MENA region, thus, telling this story was critical to the campaign.
We devised a multi-channel digital strategy, including paid social (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube), paid search (Google & Bing) and programmatic (display, video and audio).
Our creative-led strategy utilised a suite of powerful UFC assets, localised fighters from the region, with copy and content designed in multiple languages – all to capture the right person, with the right message at the right time.
Performance metrics were modeled in accordance with the aforementioned four stages – impressions and reach for Awareness, engagements, and click-throughs for Consideration, downloads and CPI (Cost Per Install) for App Downloads and CPA (cost per acquisition), and revenue for Conversions.
The campaign was a remarkable success, serving over 280m impressions to audiences across the 14 key target markets, which in turn delivered paid-for subscriptions at almost 3x the forecasted target, at importantly, an efficiency of 33% under budget.
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: