O2 added a real-time strand to its wider England Rugby activation with a #RugbyMums initiative revolving around the England versus Italy 6 Nations match which took place on Mother’s Day.
This campaign, which predominantly harnessed Twitter and YouTube and then connected to a live matchday experience, saw the England team and shirt sponsor encourage supporters to either tweet their personal England team talk messages using the campaign hashtag #RugbyMums, or upload video good luck messages via YouTube.
The best messages, tweets and video team talks were then displayed onto the big screen outside Twickenham before the match.
The background idea was to blend consumer-generated ‘Mother’s Day’ messages and ‘Good Luck England’ team talks and use these to bring fans into the thick of the action and spur England on to victory.
The activation kicked off earlier in the week with tweets from the brand’s Twitter account @O2sport with tweets outlining the initiative, encouraging consumers to tweet and linking to a series of England rugby YouTube films with players offering their own team encouragement and maternal greetings.
The kick-off tweet said:
‘Rugby Mums we salute you. Let the England boys know how important beating Italy is this Mother’s Day. Send your team talk message to #RugbyMums for the chance to make it onto the Twickenham big screen.’
This was followed by a set of web films, which appeared on 9 March on O2 Sports YouTube Channel, featuring teams, players and fans from right across the England set up.
For example England women’s player Georgina Gulliver used her ‘good luck’ clip not only to wish the senior men’s team the best for the Italy match, but also as a video mother’s day card for her own mum.
Other stars of the England Women’s team, who ‘did it for mum’ by beating Italy themselves, including Sarah Hunter and Victoria Fleetwood also shot a similar online film urging the men to match their achievement.
A similar online film clip features the England 7’s squad wishing the 15’s team luck against Italy and urging them to ‘Do It For Mum’.
‘Good luck/thank you mum’ consumer tweets and clips were shown on a giant screen as spectators made their way to Twickenham on Sunday for the big match which saw England slightly struggle to an 18-11 win over Italy.
Then a post match film was uploaded to YouTube with clips of fan Mother’s Day messages at the game and also featuring three of the victorious England players (Danny Care, Toby Flood and Courtney Lawes) saying they did it for all the mums and wishing their own mothers a Happy Mothers’ Day.
While putting a day-relevant twist on an existing campaign has been a feature of sponsorship activation for years, the high speed and low price of social media marketing has seen real time marketing become de rigour this year.
But whether this combination of ‘Good Luck England’ and ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ messages quite dovetails perfectly is open to question.
And how the traditional gender segmentation of rugby spectators quite fits with Mother’s Day messaging is another matter altogether.
Either way, activating its England rugby rights wasn’t O2’s on Mother’s Day sponsorship activation.
The mobile telecoms brand also used digital platforms to urge its customers to ‘do something extra special for mum’ and ‘whether it’s taking her to an event that she’ll never forget, showcasing her as a genuine SuperMum on top of our roof or simply taking her out for a great meal’ by offering its pick of Mother’s Day Gift Deals connected to its sponsorship of The O2 arena.
O2 has been a sponsor of England Rugby since 1995 and have a strong track record of using innovative digital platforms to generate support and bring its customers closer to the team.
This year the brand is running an impressive suite of sponsorship campaigns to leverage its rugby rights.
Priority customers are offered opportunities ranging more general benefits such as stadium tours, matchday tickets, pre-game ‘BlueRoom’ entertainment, priority queuing, free ‘pies, pint and programmes’, to unique experiences such as dining with the players, taking home the match ball or being a mascot on match day.
Its O2 Inside Line initiative with the RFU is a video series that gives fans a unique weekly insight into the England camp, by providing behind-the-scenes England content – from player banter, training and preparation, to expert analysis.
Another strand of its activation is the O2 Touch programme designed for fitness and fun. Based on Touch Rugby and aimed at men/boys and women/girls of all ages, this is a non-contact form of rugby workout.
O2 Mother’s Day YouTube
O2 Inside Line