Marriott’s Skype-Led UGC #ReuniteMeWith RFU Comp

As the 6 Nations kicks-off Marriott is activating its RFU sponsorship via an innovative campaign with Skype – #ReuniteMeWith – that offers expat England rugby fans a chance to experience a live game at Twickenham


Marriott, a ‘major supporter’ of England rugby, and agency MEC Access are working with Microsoft Advertising on a first-of-its kind, cross-platform sponsorship campaign running in 13 different markets.


Spearheaded on Skype, the Microsoft-owned videoconferencing, VoIP and instant messaging service, the campaign is also running across a suite of Microsoft platforms including MSN, Outlook and Windows 8.


The fan-created content competition offers England fans living abroad a chance to win a trip home to watch a match at Twickenham with their family and friends.


#ReuniteMeWith aims to encourage user-generated video from rugby fans with family and/or friends living abroad.


It challenges supporters to upload their clips – which are essentially personal video nominations as to why their rugby-loving friends living abroad deserves to win a Twickenham trip – to the campaign hub at http://reunitemewith-marriott.co.uk/.


The four winning entries, chosen by Marriott, will see the nominee flown home for a 2015 England match (the first prize is the final RBS 6 Nations game between England v France on 21 March).


Skype was chosen as the primary platform on the strength of Microsoft’s own audience insights data which identified it as the best fit to engage Marriott’s key target audience of so-called ‘Master Blenders’.


This user data analysis combines demographics, behavioural insights and an understanding of regular online communication between the UK and a set of key ex-pat countries.


According to Microsoft Advertising’s Stuart Flint, Skype  users have a high propensity to book holidays online and this insight, combined with Skype’s core purpose of linking people across the world led to the media plan that Marriott hopes will drive engagement with overseas rugby fans.


In addition to the suite of Microsoft platforms, #ReuniteMeWith is being promoted across several other platforms ranging from Marriott and RFU digital and social media channels, plus supporting experiential and PR work.


‘This year will be a magical time for rugby fans and seeing England play at Twickenham is always a special occasion,’ comments Marriott European field marketing director Chi Nguyen.


‘We wanted to do something special for fans living abroad, who usually can only watch the game on TV at awkward times in the middle of the night. Microsoft and MEC Access have taken a creative, insights-led approach, enabling us to provide four lucky fans with the opportunity to experience England rugby live.’


‘We’re very excited to be launching #ReuniteMeWith with Skype for Marriott in such a big year for rugby and Marriot’s sponsorship of the England Rugby team,’ adds MEC Access business director Ben Bradley.


‘In what will be a cluttered marketplace for brands trying to leverage the rugby buzz, we have partnered with Microsoft Advertising to develop a creative campaign rooted in consumer insights, which looks at the million plus fans who live abroad and their connections to friends and family back in England, giving Marriott a clear space of ownership,’ he adds.




This could be a busy rugby year for the hotel chain who’s current RFU relationship was signed back in 2012.


Marriott (which boasts 500-plus hotels in more than 50 countries) has a strategic four-year ‘major supporter’ partnership with the RFU that in addition to being an official RFU partnership also included title sponsorship of the London Sevens at Twickenham.



That agreement built further on the hotel brand’s existing presence at Twickenham Stadium via its London Marriott Hotel Twickenham. 


As a brand that already has a hotel within Twickenham Stadium itself, the partnership not only deepens the relationship but also sees Marriott use its England Rugby relationship to ensure brand exposure to a wider audience.


The relationship also aims to draw on the shared values between the RFU and Marriott – values built around the pillars of ‘performance’, ‘excellence’ and ‘passion’.


This rugby campaign, in a World Cup year, is another example of how Microsoft is taking an innovative approach to turning its own assets into monetisable media platforms for sponsorship activation, partnerships and other strands of advertising and marketing.


Other interesting innovations across Microsoft assets include Jay-Z’s ‘Decode’ album launch on Bing,



to Unilever’s multi-screen launch of Persil Small & Mighty,



and Nissan Altima’s launch via Skype






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