Carlsberg, as official beer sponsor of March’s Hong Kong Sevens, has created an interactive online game based around the iconic rugby activity of streaking – Carlsberg Rugby Fever.
The online entertainment platform, developed by Euro RSCG Hong Kong, targets the core young adult male demographic and aims to generate tournament word-of-mouth buzz amongst that group.
From the site, players upload a profile picture and transform into a streaker avatar. The challenge is to steer your streaker across the pitch, avoiding obstacles such as bottles and policewomen, and score a try. The quickest streakers win tournament and brand related prizes – ranging from tickets to rugby shirts. A Facebook widget enables players to load their avatar and highest scores onto the social network.
Carlsberg is also promoting the campaign with activity in key Hong Kong bars and sites with promotional teams, roadshows, tablets and game day stadium booths in order to maximise participation.
‘The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is a fantastic action-packed weekend for rugby fans, and Carlsberg wanted to reflect that atmosphere to help engage players in the game,’ said Louis Lau, Marketing Director of Carlsberg Hong Kong. ‘For the participants, the Rugby Sevens is a serious tournament. For the fans that play the game it is a lot more fun. But there is still a serious side – if they do well at the game, they are in the running to get free tickets to the event – something every serious fan would love! adds Barbara Yeh, General Manager of Euro RSCG Hong Kong.
Leveraging streaking, a long time fan favourite, may tap into old school rugby mentality. It is likely to appeal to the core, heartland target. Furthermore, the connection between drinking and streaking is well matched. The game itself may be easy to play and you don’t need to be a rugby expert to enjoy it and the prizes are attractive too.
But will it widen the appeal of the tournament and the game itself? Those involved in rugby have been trying to widen the game’s appeal beyond the traditional young, middle class male demographic and it is not clear that this kind of tactic will help achieve this. Rugby authorities have been trying to clamp down on streaking and drive it out of the game and drinks brands have been investing heavily in responsible drinking campaigns. Does this piece of sponsorship fun fit in with those long term goals of the game?