DHL’s vision is to be the ‘Logistics Company for the World’ and company purpose is ‘Connecting People. Improving Lives.’: connecting people is at the heart of what DHL does and its ‘United Delivered’ activation brings this mission to connect people and businesses around the world to life and ensures that DHL plays an important role in improving lives.
Bright Partnerships were tasked with creating a global campaign that would support DHL’s objectives and ‘DHL UNITED.DELIVERED.’ was conceived to identify ways to harness DHL’s global presence in order to reach, celebrate and unite the millions of fans around the world not lucky enough to visit Old Trafford or to see their favourite club play in person.
DHL’s partnership with the club brings two iconic global brands together with over 659 million Manchester United FC fans worldwide alongside one of the world’s most international companies based in over 220 countries.
What was our challenge? How to engage with such a broad and diverse target audience of all Man Utd and DHL customers globally.
The strategy the overcome our challenge included the core of what Bright Partnerships do – the use of live experiences and power of story-telling to showcase DHL’s role as Official Logistics Partner and to humanise the brand in a non-corporate and fan-engaging tone.
DHL doesn’t have products/services from which revenue can be derived directly during sponsorship activities. However, the club and its partners are customers of DHL for their business needs, and DHL delivers merchandise purchased from the club’s online store.
The objectives for DHL’s partnership with Manchester Utd FC were:
> Drive purchase intention, brand loyalty and advocacy through quality of experiences.
> Achieve cost-effective reach and consumer engagement.
> Engage employees and build pride amongst DHL’s global network of staff.
The specific objectives for the UNITED.DELIVERED. campaign included:
> Drive high reach and engagement with Man Utd fans through their passion for their club by delivering a piece of Man Utd to them.
> Create unique, video-focused content and storytelling opportunities across Man Utd and DHL channels and platforms.
> Drive growth of @DHLManUtd Twitter channel.
> Maximise the use of partnership assets, including effective use of promotional assets to amplify campaign messages.
The campaign was executed across two major activations:
Fans were asked to follow @DHLManUtd, post a tweet using #DHLUnitedDelivered and tag a fellow fan they deemed deserving of a new shirt.
— DPDHL News (@DeutschePostDHL) June 13, 2017
Fifty fans were drawn and they (and their friend) received an exclusive delivery containing a personalised new season shirt and a VR headset pre-loaded with exclusive 360 content.
— Dare (@mightYdre_) July 3, 2017
The VR experience included four mannequins wearing the new kit who then transformed into Man Utd players on the Old Trafford pitch, performing tricks before virtually ‘hand-delivering’ the fan their personalised shirt.
DHL successfully delivered all 100 fans’ prizes on the same day that the new kit launched in Manchester, which provided DHL with the opportunity to showcase the brand’s logistical expertise alongside a highly anticipated event on the club’s calendar.
Global Football Tour
DHL launched the UNITED.DELIVERED. Global Football Tour – a season-long campaign which showcased DHL’s ability to deliver a Man Utd experience to fans around the world. UNITED.DELIVERED. started with the Man Utd first team being filmed having a kick-around with the official tour football.
Man Utd fans, DHL customers, and employees were directed to www.dhl-in-motion.com to register and host a match at their chosen venue.
Hosts were selected based on their passion and enthusiasm for the club and campaign. Each match was played between a Red and a Yellow team, using the official tour ball and a box of training gear and GoPro cameras, all hand delivered on the day of the match by a DHL employee.
To engage fans who didn’t have the opportunity to play a match with the official touring ball, a ‘Red vs Yellow’ predictor competition was run on @DHLManUtd Twitter whereby fans were asked to predict the winner of the match, with each winner receiving the new shirt, delivered by DHL.
Staff are DHL’s strongest brand ambassadors and we were delighted to involve them in the UNITED.DELIVERED. campaign.
DHL’s internal communication platforms were used to invite employees to volunteer to attend matches, deliver the official ball, and capture match highlights on camera.
All staff volunteers were rewarded with a Man Utd shirt. DHL staff were also invited to host their own matches and the Tour made stops at DHL’s Regional Football Cup events.
To capture footage and imagery, a GoPro travelled the world to each of the 72 matches. We also commissioned local film crews at 25 matches in various locations to capture high-quality match footage, location shots and fan interviews.
The blend of GoPro and professional footage, created highly-watchable video content which showcased the locations the ball had visited and shared emotive stories of fans’ who had been brought closer to Man Utd through the power of one football and DHL.
After 10 months of the official ball touring the globe, two hosts were selected to bring their teams, and the official football, back to Old Trafford to play the final match of the DHL UNITED.DELIVERED. Tour back where it all began, at the Theatre of Dreams.
This initiative was activated around the world.
— DHL Man Utd (@DHLManUtd) October 26, 2017
Watch our video to see highlights from the day and see how you can get involved in the Global Football Tour!
— DHL Man Utd (@DHLManUtd) December 21, 2018
The Global Football Tour has seen some unforgettable moments & top football played all around the world! Watch our video to see some of the best goals so far
— DHL Man Utd (@DHLManUtd) November 30, 2018
Join the #DHLUnitedDelivered Global Football Tour and you could be in with a chance to win the incredible grand prize!
Successful match hosts will be entered into a draw to win a VIP trip of a lifetime to Old Trafford for them and their team!
— DHL Man Utd (@DHLManUtd) October 31, 2018
We're now in the final few weeks of the Global Football Tour, where we've been connecting #MUFC fans around the world like never before!
— DHL Man Utd (@DHLManUtd) April 13, 2018
Shirt delivery execution generated over 725,000 impressions.
Global Football Tour resulted in DHL shipping the official football over 351,000km, to 72 matches (20% above target) in 57 countries (90% above target) on 5 continents. The Tour also resulted in over 23,000,000 impressions and 1,300,000 engagements across all social channels.