Silver Eurobest

Case Film

Presentation Image

Category B09. Sponsorship & Brand Partnership
Media Placement STARCOM Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Name Company Position
Norman Groenewegen Cheil Amsterdam Creative
Pepijn Spanjerberg Cheil Amsterdam Creative
Thijs de Boer Cheil Amsterdam Executive Creative Director
Mariska Kloezen Cheil Amsterdam Managing Director
Janita Veenstra Cheil Amsterdam Account Director
Matthijs van Schie Cheil Amsterdam Project Manager
Mario Piepenbrink Mario Piepenbrink B.V. Technical Director
Pirke Bergsma Pirke Productions Agency Producer
Roen Roomberg Roen Roomberg Strategy
Bob van de Gronde Eyeforce Director
Egon Feiner Eyeforce Producer
Aemilia van Lent Eyeforce Producer
Noel Schoolderman Eyeforce Lighting cameraman/D.O.P.
Arthur Neumeier Eyeforce Second cameraman
Johannes de Jong Eyeforce Editor
Charlie Feld Eyeforce Grading
Milan Scholma Eyeforce Online editor
Terry Devine King Terry Devine King Music
Woodwork Woodwork Animation
Jos Wabeke Brandspanking Post Production
Tomas Kamphuis Freewheel Stories Editor
Gerben van Walt Meijer Samsung Electronics Benelux Head of Marketing IMD
Roos Bulder Samsung Electronics Benelux Manager Marketing Communication & Channel Marketing IMD
Femke Koenen Samsung Electronics Benelux Marketing Communication Specialist
Steffany Sprong - van der Hout Samsung Electronics Benelux Social Media Manager
Starcom Starcom Nederland Media Agency
Glasnost Glasnost PR Agency

Why is this work relevant for PR?

If one thing is certain in life, it's that ‘innovation in sports’ is a hot topic just before every Olympics. Who’s got a new invention? What is the latest development in sports? Is there a country with a secret weapon for the Olympics? With the Samsung SmartSuit we dug right down into this phenomenon by creating a tech contribution that shook the skating world and sport press.


Samsung is worldwide Olympic partner of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang and Samsung Netherlands is sponsoring Sjinkie Knegt and Suzanne Schulting, two Dutch short track skaters. Although the Netherlands has excellent speed skating results at the Olympics (35 Olympic gold medals), short track is nowhere near as successful (1 bronze/0 silver/0 gold). The brief was to claim sponsorship and keep in mind that Samsung stands for: ‘Meaningful progress comes from daring to defy barriers.’ With the tagline: Do what you can’t.

Describe the creative idea

For an innovative tech brand saying ‘do what you can’t’, we didn’t choose to just put a logo on a suit. We invented a whole new suit. A suit that enables the skaters and coach to do what they can’t: measure in real time the height at which the skater is positioned above the ice. This height is one of the most important things in skating, because the closer you are to the ice, the faster you’ll go. Until now, this has always been judged on gut feeling. We developed the Samsung SmartSuit, equipped with sensors to measure with millimetre accuracy. The suit is designed to send data to the coach’s device, allowing him to communicate adjustments immediately to the skaters.

Describe the strategy

The athletes and coach trained with the suit in secret for months. Just before the Olympics, when the buzz about sports innovations and tech at the Olympics in PyeongChang was at its peak, we brought it to the press. We didn’t just invite them to come and see Samsung’s latest invention. We invited them to come and discover the latest sporting innovation just before the Olympics. And about the ‘digital doping’ Samsung developed for the Netherlands in the race against the Korean medal contenders in their own country. After the press release, in no time more than 450 million people knew about the secret weapon. And – in the slipstream – about Samsung being a real contributing tech sponsor of the Olympic short track skaters. During the Olympics, we demonstrated our intense involvement with the Olympians and earned appreciation with news-jacking videos and real-time advertising to raise the Proud-to-Own score.

Describe the execution

First we needed to know how to create value for the short track skaters. Because only a real contribution would work for our PR campaign. Our key to success had to be innovation; our secret weapon for effective PR. In March 2017, we met the coach and human movement scientist. As it turned out, one of the most important things in skating is the position of the ice skater. To measure this, we developed a suit equipped with 5 sensors that feeds live body kinetic telemetry to the Galaxy S8 (data) and Tab S3 (data/video/charts). If the skater’s posture requires correction, the coach can press a button on the Galaxy S8 to send a signal to the skater. Once technical development had been completed, the technicians and short track skaters secretly tested and trained with the suit for months. Just before the Olympics we brought the story to the press.

List the results

After the press release, in no time half a billion people knew about the secret weapon. And about Samsung being a real contributing tech sponsor. The tremendous appreciation of this unique sponsorship benefited the brand significantly; see below. Awareness: €830,000 in free publicity in the Netherlands and €1,410,000 worldwide. KPI: 10% growth of KPI Proud-to-Own brand value within 2 months, from 24% to 34%! (DVJ Insights). 48,100 article reads with branded content 4,765,194 impressions. 321% above benchmark. Total key engagement rate among millennials of 1.3% (benchmark: 0.44%). Average View Through Rate online videos of 20%, which is extremely good considering the length (60 and 30 sec.). (Starcom) No. 1 best scoring campaign in the Netherlands in terms of attractiveness, innovation and sympathy. (Motivaction) We literally proved ‘Do What You Can’t’. During the Olympics, Knegt and Schulting won the first ever Dutch Olympic silver and gold medals for short track.