Sydbank's cup sponsorship manages to activate 450 football events with the help from an innovative AI solution that creates value in communities across Denmark. Through this technology and a hyper targeted social-first distribution, football matches that otherwise had been forgotten have been documented and distributed to hundreds of local areas, where the game had been played and thus the interest biggest. With the help from social media Sydbank has taken the matches from broadcasting to narrowcasting. This sponsorship demonstrates how the biggest effect comes from creating real value for its percipients rather than focusing on branded keychains and banner ads.
At the beginning of 2018 the Danish bank Sydbank faced three critical challenges.
- The bank's DNA had been insufficiently communicated for several years, only 3% could remember seeing an advertisement from Sydbank - the lowest of all the country's six largest banks.
- The bank's image was in decline. The proportion of Danes who agreed to “Sydbank is caring and down to earth” had fallen by 11% in just one year.
- The bank's recommendation rating dropped from a second to a fifth place. This had led to declining customer acquisition and dropping market share - from 7% to 6%.
Sydbank wanted to regain what have been lost. The bank had previously been successful in establishing positive relationships with customers through sponsorships. These platforms had created visibility and relationships in the local areas. So, when the sponsorship for Denmark's biggest football tournament became vacant, Sydbank walked onto the pitch.
Describe the creative idea
Every football player dreams of seeing themselves score the game-winning goal on national TV. But less than 1% of football matches are broadcasted.
Sydbank decided on recording the remaining 99% of cup matches so that players, friends and family could follow their local team.
But small matches are very unlikely to ever receive airtime on TV. They have low interest at national level, but huge interest at local level. However, should Sydbank record and broadcast all the matches, the costs would be enormous.
The solution was an innovative collaboration with the tech start-up Veo specializing in camera solutions for football teams. With a 180-degree AI-camera, clubs can record matches without cameramen. This technology had previously only been used for match analysis, but Sydbank saw an opportunity in the technology as a means of recording and broadcasting all the matches as personalized content in each home-area of the playing teams.
Describe the strategy
Sydbank's core brand story is rooted in being an empathetic and caring bank with a local focus. It is from this core narrative that Sydbank runs and develops its business.
Based on this, we developed the overall concept for the sponsorship. It was supposed to point the spotlight towards the many participating lower league clubs making them feel like superstars. We wanted to help them undo the difference between them and the top teams of the country, helping them on their way to the life of a professional footballer – at least for an hour or two.
With this in mind Sydbank turned the traditional sponsorship model upside down. Instead of an increased sponsorship presence towards the end of the tournament with all the small teams being eliminated, Sydbank wanted to get out there as soon as the first whistle were blown and point the spotlight towards the local heroes.
Describe the execution
Veo-cameras were sent out to every club. The clubs set up the camera and uploaded the match to Veo's AI-software, and over the next 10 months leading up to the final, 450 games were covered and edited automatically.
Through a hyper-targeted social-first approach, highlights from all the matches were geo-targeted to the local area where the matches had been played and thus had the greatest interest. The next day, players, family and local supporters saw personalized highlights, 900 different locations across the country.
Complementary activities such as after-match events and dressing room-upgrades were launched throughout the country and were documented and distributed digitally to the local areas involved.
The first year culminated when a low-ranking divisional player on live TV walked onto the field in front of a packed national stadium and hundreds of thousands of viewers to receive a bronze statue for scoring the goal of the season.
Describe the outcome
After the first year 2.4 million Danes have spent time with the content, which goes far beyond the 1.1 million Danes who describe themselves as football fans. With more than 4,8 million views and engamentrates 14 times greater than benchmarks, the danes welcomed the sponsorship with open arms.
The attitude towards Sydbank as “emphatic and caring” increased by 19%.
There is clear causality between sponsorship awareness and improved image parameters - the number of Danes who believe that Sydbank is socially responsible is 54% higher with sponsorship knowledge than without. And the proportion who would recommend Sydbank to others is 40% higher than among people without awareness.
After the first year, Sydbank is back in the top-3 of the most highly recommended banks, which has led to an increase in new customers. The sponsorship has created a profit of 43 million euros resulting in a ROI of 68:1.