Orange, the title sponsor of this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), considers the tournament as its biggest African brand building and subscriber acquisition partnership of the year.
Working with agency Octagon, the brand leveraged its rights at the 2015 tournament (held in Equatorial Guinea) via engagement platforms that aimed to driving awareness in new markets and engaging new customers in existing countries.
Dubbed the Orange Africa Cup of Nations, Orange’s rights stretched from in-stadium branding to offering Orange users free, exclusive mobile and web tournament content via its Orange Football Club and through the StarAfrica portal.
Indeed, the brand was inspired by its digital success at previous Orange AFCON, the title sponsor focused on expanding its online activation and offering.
This was spearheaded by the ‘Orange Football Club’, which feeds the latest live news to fans of African, European and international football for free on the web, on mobile devices and on social networks.
A fresh feature of this year’s tournament activation was its ‘Golden Ticket’ initiative: an online treasure hunt to find virtual tickets hidden in a series of on-screen pictures with prizes.
Those fans who upload photos of their own favourite football tournament moments were also entered into a competition for a range of prizes from tickets to tablets.
Thousands of photos were entered and the winning snaps were voted for by more than 40,000 fans voted for their favourite photos.
In the stadiums themselves, Orange’s imagery revolved around a specially created trophy designed specifically to illustrate the link between the fans and the players themselves.
Both the ‘Man of the Match’ and the ‘Fan of the Match’ trophies were built from a single, interlocking design.
The title sponsor also invited the most passionate supporters to participate in its ‘Fan of the Match’ photo competition.
The winning supporter scoped the rare experience of actually presenting the ‘Man of the Match’ award to the best player during a post-match press conference.
This activation strand enabled 32 lucky fans to enjoy moments to remember in the form of in-person meetings with Africa’s greatest football stars.
Orange also served up content on www.StarAfrica.com , Orange’s entertainment portal in Africa, which is available in English, French and Arabic and attracts 1.5m visitors each month.
A brand team of sports journalists reported live on the tournament and produced a range of content from video broadcasts to live-text commentary.
The Orange AFCON Equatorial Guinea 2015 newswire was also be available on Twitter at @StarAfrica and on Facebook.
Orange also built ‘Orange Villages’ in key cities and near match venues – these had giant-screen broadcasts of the major matches, as well as offering fans football video game competitions and photo contests.
Orange’s brand was present on all official tournament assets – from Man Of The Tournament,
to the ‘Trophy & Medals Ceremony’.
Orange FC has more than 500,000 Facebook fans and its tournament mobile app was downloaed more than 100,000 times.
This year’s competition marks the fourth consecutive Africa Cup Of Nations to be sponsored by Orange.
The partnership, which is part of Orange’s objective of building a globally football footprint, aims to bring ‘the match-spirit into towns and cities across Africa’.
AFCON is one of the few events that genuinely spans and unites thee entire content an this offer its sponsors a rare opportunity to engage customers, fans, employees right across Africa.
In addition to its AFCON title sponsorship, the brand partners with the national teams in Botswana, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea Conakry, Mali, Niger and Senegal for many years.
Indeed, it involvement in African football began when it signed a partnership with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in 2009 – which made the Group the principal sponsor of the six major CAF competitions until 2016.
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