Category E04. Real-time Response
Entrant NSPK MIR Moscow, RUSSIA
Idea Creation SPORTS.RU Moscow, RUSSIA
Production SPORTS.RU Moscow, RUSSIA
Name Company Position
Alexander Aksenov Editor in chief
Evgeny Kovrin Head of sales
German Khudyakov Account manager
Roman Mun Editor
Maria Mihalchuk Art director
Andrey Usikov Designer
Eduard Epshteyn Marketing manager
Alexander Chaplinsky UX Team lead
Alexander Poluektov NSPK MIR Digital director
Valentina Kosareva NSPK MIR Brand marketing and communications department director
Ilya Tyurin NSPK MIR Sports marketing manager
Olga Frolova NSPK MIR Digital manager


This summer, Russia hosted the biggest sporting event in the world - the FIFA World Cup. It featured the best teams, the most skilled players, and the coolest fans. But there was a problem: we thought that the Russian team was so-so. We're used to seeing our team fail, always. But it's all changed in 2018. We've progressed past the group stage for the first time in the 21st century; the team re-captured the hearts of the nation; we, at last, believed. Our special project was about how we didn't believe in our team and how they surpassed all our expectations.

Describe the strategy

Before the World Cup we thought that there will be demand for the stories about the national team because of the disappointing failure. Yet after the victory against Spain we understood that there will indeed be demand, but because the people are in love with the team.

Describe the execution

We launched this special project minutes after the Croatia match. We placed a button saying "I do not believe" in a visible place on the homepage. When a user clicked it, he was taken to a page where the Russia -- Croatia match was replayed. The only difference was that Russia won this time around. As the user was moving the time forward, he saw that Russia made it through to the semifinals and then the final. It was important for us to maintain's tone, even though this was a fictional scenario. Had they really made it to the finals, you would've seen similar headlines for news and articles. In the crucial moment of the final, a penalty shootout mini-game activates. You can win or lose it and depending on the result the share message was generated saying if you saved the Russian team or not.

List the results

In less than two full days the special project drew 250,000 unique users (with the average session duration of 4.5 minutes) and reached 3 million users on the social media.