Without the budget, scale, assets or official sponsorship rights of our main competitors, our challenge was to make New Balance Football stand out and build brand affinity amongst our audience.
With the highly political landscape surrounding Russia 2018, we knew many brands activating around the tournament would be creatively cautious.
But our insight showed that young people are inspired by people and brands that break free from outdated perceptions of gender, race, religion and demographics.
So we knew if we could cut through the propaganda and show a true reality of Russia, we could create content our audience would engage with.
We created an entertaining docu-series of content uncovering real football culture in four of Russia’s World Cup host cities.
With three prolific YouTubers, we went on a journey across St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kazan and Moscow to meet young fans, play against local teams in inner-city korobkas and generally get up to a bit of mischief.
The idea was to show an on-the-ground view of football culture in Russia and show the reality of the game, not just the gloss of the tournament.
The month-long socially driven campaign appeared on New Balance Football social channels, the YouTubers’ channels as well as across Perform Group’s GOAL.com global media network.
On GOAL.com alone, 30 pieces of the campaign content was distributed across the GOAL channels in 6 different languages.
The campaign reached over 9 million fans and received over 1.7 million video views with an average engagement rate of 5.58%.
The campaign also helped to drive impressive growth on NB Football’s Instagram channel boosting followers by 63.2K.