DHL began leveraging its global Rugby World Cup rights in November by setting a single rugby ball off on a grand journey through 45 countries over the next 45 weeks.
The activation countdown to 2015 has truly begun.
The tournament’s official logistics partner is aiming to pass the branded ball from hand-to-hand from Cape Town to London.
The DHL rugby ball’s ambitious adventure will see it journey up the east African coast to Sudan, before returning to southern Africa (via Mauritius) before heading up the west coat and then heading to Twickenham Stadium in London in time for the opening game.
The campaign launches with an introductory short film explaining the project,
The core objective of the Africa As One campaign is to maximise reach and generate noise around the brand within Africa and beyond.
DHL is using its pan-African presence – it operates in more countries than any other logistics or distribution company Africa – to boost rugby awareness across the continent.
As rugby is a fairly small and little known sport across much of Africa, one aim is to make more fans aware of the game, its flagship international competition and to educate them about the game.
Therefore, as the ball travels across Africa, DHL will host a series of rugby clinics led by a set of legendary rugby names for its client base and for local communities around its offices.
The concept was created by agency Jozi and 7 Different Kinds of Smoke (7DKS) and is being executed with the support of other specialist agencies in various sectors and markets including Treble, Hammersmith and Elephant and Have You Heard.
‘To maximise the value of DHL’s global sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup 2015 for the Africa offices, it is important that we grow the knowledge and support base of the game,’ explains 7DKS creative partner, James Cloete.
‘To this end, one objective of the campaign is to take rugby into as many places as possible. In this way we aim to engage the local population and client base within each territory, and encourage unified support for the African teams who will ultimately compete next year.’
Of course, the underlying objective for the sponsor is to use this initiative as a platform for demonstrating that it knows Africa better than any other logistics company.
The campaign hopes to capture and share unique content of the people and places the ball visits en route – from a rugby perspective.
With lead agency 7DKS managing the creative assets and output, the journey will be captured and communicated via video, photos and word-of-mouth across an integrated set of platforms ranging from www.AfricaAsOne.com to YouTube, twitter and Facebook.
The first film episode starts in Cape Town,
while Episode 2 in in Lesotho.
The aims is to reach more than 20 million consumers across the continent through social channels and TV inserts, plus on-the-ground engagements and educational experiences
A partnership with fellow rugby sponsor Land Rover sees the auto brand supply a fleet of vehicles, custom-fitted by Front Runner, to support the ball’s journey.
Is this simply a classic, pre-tournament ‘trophy tour’ without the trophy, or is it something quite different?
By blending the rugby focus with an exploration of African people, cultures, foods, music, wildlife, infrastructures, passions, trials and victories it could achieve something more valued and textured than a classic ‘cup tour’ and the sponsor certainly will heop this approach enables it to achieve greater engagement and cut-through.
An interesting strategy built around regional, African pride, this campaign illustrates the importance of activating global rugby rights via a regional strategy – as the sport has varied followings in different markets and international activation requires an understanding of this.
Africa As One Website
DHL Africa YouTube
DHL Africa Twitter
DHL Africa Facebook
Rugby World Cup Website