In FIFA, there are a select few clubs that year-on-year are the most played teams. Clubs like Manchester United, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich but to name a few. In FIFA 20 however, a new club emerged as one of the most popular… League Two outfit Stevenage FC. Why? Well back in summer 2019 Burger King announced itself as the main kit sponsor for the minnows. And within one year, they’ve helped make the club one of the most marketable teams in the world of football…
Doing things differently
Averaging at crowds of less than 3,000 and the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham nearby, attracting young new fans is a challenge. The club already cancelled its match day programme in favour of a digital copy. The club has one mantra–do things differently.
Chief Executive Alex Tunbridge said, “we were quite keen to rip things up and try a new way of doing things.” So, when Burger King approached with an offer of around £50,000 for shirt sponsorship and a genius marketing campaign, the club bit their fingers (or a whopper) off!
The method behind the marketing campaign was simple according to Fernando Machado, the Global Chief Marketing Officer at Restaurant Brands International (the company that owns Burger King). “If you’re a crazy soccer fan that loves playing FIFA, it doesn’t bother you to play with Stevenage, even if you’re not a Stevenage fan because we all cheer for the underdog. It’s one of the reasons why we went with a relatively small club”
A plan was developed that offered fans challenges to win free whoppers, chips and treats at any of the restaurant chains. Challenges such as ‘Nutmegs for Nuggets’ and ‘Impossible for Impossible Whopper’ were offered to the masses. Gamers from all around the globe had to record these challenges (whilst kitting their team out in the Stevenage kit) and send them in to get free food.
The success was resounding.
Over 25,000 goals were scored in little over than a week of the campaign being launched. Stevenage were also the most used team in Career Mode. More importantly for the club, shirt sales sold out for the first time in history! The campaign received a little of 1.2billion impressions and has been quoted as being more valuable than a real-life FA cup tie against Manchester United. Showing just how important the digital marketing world can be.