Category B01. Corporate Image, Communication & Reputation Management
Product/ServiceSVENSKA SPEL
Idea Creation JUNG RELATIONS Stockholm, SWEDEN
Production JUNG RELATIONS Stockholm, SWEDEN
Name Company Position
Max Hafelt Jung Relations PR advisor/creative
Fredik Manuel Persson Jung Relations Production manager
Per Holmquist Jung Relations Creative
Calle Lindholm Jung Relations Junior advisor
Jakob Bjerkesjö Jung Relations Producer
Marcel Karlsson Jung Relations Producer
Joel Sköld Jung Relations Advisor
Eva Evesjö Svenska Spel Marketing manager
Johan Svensson Svenska Spel PR manager

Why is this work relevant for PR?

During the 2018 World Cup, the main sponsor of the Swedish national team, gaming operator Svenska Spel, gave Swedish football fans the chance of a lifetime – to live in a national team player’s home during the World Cup. We relied completely on earned media to generate awareness for Svenska Spel’s proud sponsorship of the team, and to create dialogue with our target group in order to enhance the reputation and strengthen the perception of the brand. By creating the company’s most unique campaign ever, we generated a total of 133 million in earned media reach.


Betting and gambling advertising have exploded in Sweden with gaming operators shouting the same generic “bonus” messages after each other. Ahead of the 2018 World Cup, the main sponsor of the national team, state owned gaming operator Svenska Spel, wanted to distinguish itself against the competitors by engaging the target audience (Swedish sports fans 18-49 y/o) with something unique and credible – something that only a main sponsor could to. The objective was to build the brand by generating attention, publicity and engagement for Svenska Spel's sponsorship, and together with Svenska Spel’s other World Cup campaigns, contribute to a sales increase compared to the previous World Cup. Specific objectives: 1) Achieve an earned media reach in traditional media, in Sweden, of 3 million (Sweden’s population = 10 million). 2) Get 50% of the target group to find that the campaign distinguishes itself from the competitors’ communications.

Describe the creative idea

To see Sweden play in Russia was an expensive affair for the Swedish supporters: not only were the match tickets expensive, even the hotel prices soared – in some cases over 3000 percent. And as Sweden’s three match locations were the furthest apart of any team, it meant travelling over 7600 kilometres. The majority of the Swedish fans were thus forced to follow the World Cup in Sweden. The idea was to help the Swedish fans at home to get closer to the championship – and can you get any closer than to stay in a national team player’s home during the World Cup? Never before has a sports star lent his residence to a supporter – but it was exactly what we did when Sweden's top scorer, Marcus Berg, opened the doors to his apartment in Gothenburg for one lucky supporter while Marcus was playing for Sweden in Russia.

Describe the strategy

The strategy was to offer the target audience, sports interested Swedes 18-49 y/o, something unique, something that Svenska Spel’s competitors couldn’t offer by utilising the sponsorship of the national team. As the idea was unique and first of its kind, we completely relied on earned media to spread the initiative and message of Svenska Spel’s sponsorship. The target media was Swedish sports media, and lifestyle media. Traditionally, it is very difficult to get coverage in sports media in Sweden. Sports journalists tend to be very restrictive when it comes to commercial initiatives. As many Swede’s love sports and read international media, we also targeted international sports media. As the objective was to create credible communication (in contrast to the competitors), and to make the experience unique, we changed nothing in Marcus’ apartment. Everything was just like when Marcus left the apartment for the national team gathering.

Describe the execution

We recorded a typical “MTV Cribs” video with Marcus and photographed the apartment. We then placed an apartment ad (cost 10£) on Sweden’s biggest housing site, where we were looking for a "residential substitute" that during the World Cup could stay and look after Marcus’ apartment. The rent was free, and everything was included. Spreading this ad was the first pr outreach of the campaign. The news spread like wildfire – not just in Sweden, but also internationally, which resulted in applications from all over the world, such as Korea, the UK, and the US. The second pr outreach took place when we chose the lucky winner. He became a hot topic with media interviewing him about the unique prize. The third pr outreach was when the winner moved in and showed off his temporary accommodation to selected media, which also spread globally.

List the results

The results were far better than expected and we received coverage in every top tier sports and lifestyle media in Sweden, in titles where we usually don’t get any publicity, all with a 100 % sentiment. The target of 3 million in earned media reach was beaten by 233 % and we reached over 10 million in Sweden (population of Sweden = 10 million). In total, we generated 133 million in earned media reach globally. There was no doubt that the campaign was unique and distinguishing compared to the competitors, as 78% of the target audience thought that the campaign stood out in comparison to other gaming company’s ads and messages. This is Svenska Spel’s highest recorded number ever (Target: 50%). In addition, there was also no doubt that we, unlike our competitors, managed to create a credible and engaging campaign, which among others was noticeable when Marcus was interviewed by foreign media between the matches in Russia: many journalists asked him if the campaign was for real – and applauded the initiative – and questioned whether any of their own national team players would ever agree to do something similar.