MasterCard’s RWC ‘History’ Facebook Tags Link Fans

Extending its existing’ History’ idea into the world of rugby union, MasterCard’s integrated Rugby World Cup campaign focuses on connections between fans, players, teams, nations and the history of the game.


The initiative, led by McCann Erickson Sydney (with filming by Hungry Man, web development by MercerBell and media work by Universal McCann Australia and DraftFCB New Zealand), revolves around the central event website at www.mastercard.com.au/rwc2011.


The digital platform enables Australian and New Zealand rugby fans to view clips of historic matches and events and to tag their experiences and emotions for others to see. Facebook connected fans are able to tag themselves in videos of the games, generating wall posts on their profile pages.



The emotional webfilm spearhead of the programme saw MasterCard, a main IRB Rugby World Cup sponsor and the official credit card and payment system partner for the tournament, focus on real rugby stories with a series of two-minutes videos celebrating the sport with some engaging, lesser known world cup stories.


One film features former New Zealand coach Brian Lochore explaining his decision to send the All Black players to a small town in the Wairarapa prior to the 1987 Rugby World Cup to engage with the fans they are playing for at a very real and earthy level.



Another retells Soma’s defeat of global rugby giant Wales at the 1991 World Cup.



A third explore Chester Williams role in uniting South Africa’s ethnic divide and helping his nation win the 1995 World Cup.



Another feature of the campaign, running under the ‘Ask Buck’ strapline, provides an online fan-player interactive platform, with legendary former All Black Buck Shelford answer fan questions ahead of the tournament kick off at at rugbyworldcup.com/mastercard.



The campaign’s competition element saw Australian and New Zealand fans invited to win a chance to witness history at the Rugby World Cup by using their Mastercard online at www.mastercard.com.au/rwc2011.




One of the stand-out facets of this campaign is that it enables fans to tag their own experiences with key moments in sporting history along a narrative timeline.


Using social channels and Facebook Connect, brands and rights holders can encourage fans to tag and post where they were, how they were feeling, who they were with, and what they were wearing when they witnessed some of the biggest moments in team history.


This campaign sees the payments sector brand extend its existing football strategy into its rugby rights activation. This History initiative follows MasterCard’s UEFA Champions League ‘History In The Making’ initiative from earlier in 2011 (see http://football.mastercard.co.uk/). This connected approach seems p[particularly sensible when viewed in the context of its move into backing the Rugby World Cup after Visa took over as FIFA World Cup payments sector partner after MasterCard held the position from 1990 to 2006.







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