HOW WE ACTIVATED A SLEEPING FAN BASE, WITH AN EVENT THAT KEPT THEM UP ALL NIGHT.
New York has over 7 million soccer fans. However, the large majority of them follow teams in international leagues. As New York City Football Club headed into its fourth season, they wanted to activate this dormant fanbase with little interest, or awareness, of the club.
Our brief was to create an event that let the people know that NYCFC is the club that represents their city. Finding a way to unite soccer fans throughout the five boroughs was a must. But how do you do it in a way that is authentic to the city itself?
We tapped into New Yorker's love of soccer, with an event that could only be done in the city that never sleeps.
The 24 Hour Game kicked off on the steps of New York’s iconic Rockefeller Center (right outside NBC Studios) at 4pm Friday, and ran through 4pm Saturday. Over 700 players took 30-minute turns playing for Team Villa (coached by Club Captain David Villa) or Team Vieira (coached by NYCFC Head Coach Patrick Vieira).
"To play soccer outside at Rockefeller Center, one of the most iconic places in the world, is incredible."
David Villa - Soccer LEGEND
We wanted the event to feel like an actual MLS game, so we made sure we included professional details at every touch-point, from pregame and halftime ceremonies (at 4am), to pro sports commentary, and live pitchside interviews -- ensuring the fans and players felt like they were part of something special.
After 24 hours of play, the final whistle blew with Team Villa taking the win, 415 goals to 382, but the real winner was NYCFC and their legion of new fans.
The visual aesthetic of the event was inspired by the neon signs New York. From the website, to signage, to the post match report we created a integrated visual style which complemented the concept perfectly.
NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN
As a lasting memory of the event, we photographed all 700+ players and generated the ultimate team photograph. The image was then tagged and shared across all of NYCFC social media platforms
MERCH AND AWARDS
To keep the momentum spot prizes were given away throughout the game to both players and supporters. Our real time registration system meant that our MC's had live access to players names, and were able to integrate them into the commentary. As well as hundreds of merchandise giveaways, 24 players of the hour each took home a new home jersey, and the ultimate match MVP receiving the 'Blue Boot' (NYCFC's version of the Golden Boot Award) at a special presentation at Yankee Stadium, ahead of the season opener.
184 million earned media impressions across broadcast, digital, and social coverage
$2.1 million in broadcast earned media value
Coverage on every major news channel
714 players participated in gameplay - 77% of which were new to the club
500,000+ in attendance over the 24 hour period.