Aussies don’t just love AFL, we live and breathe it. So, imagine being able to feel the game, the adrenalin, the heart palpitations, right from the comfort of home.
Our challenge was clear – how do we bring our positioning that “no one gets you closer” to life in a way that grows awareness and interest in Foxtel’s sports channel, Fox Sports.
When it comes to AFL coverage, free to air broadcasting (FTA), Channel 7 have the AFL coverage rights Australia wide. Their offering is of a high standard, making it even more of a challenge to get people to switch. Research confirmed that price was the ultimate deterrent for not getting Fox Footy as people struggled to justify paying for something they could get for free.
We needed to reframe the discussion away from price to a deeper emotional connection with the brand. We needed to connect fans to their team in an emotional way that free to air TV couldn’t. We needed to bring people onto the field to feel what their favourite players were feeling. And we needed to do it in real time.
So we gave Foxtel customers the kit to suit up for game day and coupled it with the technology to let them feel every last bump.
A world first in wearable technology, Alert Shirt literally connects fans to the game, allowing them to feel what the players feel live as it happens. The shirt works in conjunction with a bespoke phone App that captures real-time game data and relays it via Bluetooth to electronics inside the shirt. Here it is converted into powerful sensations that simulate the live play. The campaign launched at the start of the footy season with online videos, social media, microsite and PR.
By targeting football club members and loyal Foxtel fans we sparked positive conversation about Foxtel that spread to the broader football community.
The Alert Shirt hit the mark. In the first week, the Alert Shirt conversation took off with 2.1 million people reached on Facebook, 135,000 video click-throughs and 400,000 Twitter impressions. Longer term, we saw an unprecedented nine per cent increase in programming perceptions during the campaign.
We also were a Cannes Lion Finalist, won a Clio Sports Grand Prix and were widely recognised in Australian industry awards including the 2013 Mumbrella Awards.
But most significantly, we’ve changed the rules of broadcast television, transforming professional sport from something you watch to something you’re physically involved in. Alert Shirt signals a new era of product that is part of the ‘internet of things’; wired to what they want and delivering the experience instantly.