Category C07. Use of Technology
Additional Company VEO Copenhagen, DENMARK
Name Company Position
Eva Stehr Ebbensgaard Robert/Boisen & Like-minded Art Director
Mads Nicolai Mardahl Robert/Boisen & like-minded Art Director
Victor Petri Robert/Boisen & Like-minded Head of Social & Brand Activation
Alexander Faxø Robert/Boisen & Like-minded Activation assistant
Søren Christensen Robert/Boisen & Like-minded Partner & Strategy Director

Why is this work relevant for PR?

Sydbank’s cup sponsorship utilizes the introduction of a groundbreaking technology into football to gain nation-wide awareness for the launch of its sponsorship. By using a new AI-technology to create real value for the many small clubs across Denmark local media outlets have turned their attention the buzz coming from the small-town stadiums. Instead of aiming for prestigious coverage in national media outlets, Sydbank has chosen to follow its core values of doing local business and turned their attention to local media. And by doing so, Sydbank managed to gain much greater coverage than just football-fans.


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 (20% of vote)

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 transmit 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 PR strategy (30% of vote)

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 PR-strategy for the sponsorship. It was supposed to point the spotlight towards the many participating lower league clubs instead of the bank itself, as we knew that these clubs were small-town heroes with a much bigger chance of being featured in the local press. And with a built-in sponsorship focus on the small clubs, we knew we could compete against big-team coverage on national news outlets. So, we narrowed the strategy in to focus exclusively on local and regional news outlets with the intention to get club leaders and captains to tell the story on our behalf, thus creating a much less self-centered and self-asserting media coverage and a more empathetic vibe.

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

In conjunction with equipping each local team with a Veo-camera to cover all 450 games of the season, we also “weaponized” the clubs as local PR-representatives by giving them key information about the sponsorship ambition and the innovative camera technology. This proved successful as the players and clubs were able to pass on these important messages across the more than 2000 pieces of news coverage. The local press was invited to complementary activities such as upgraded local matches across Denmark to provide excellent footage and “evidence” of Sydbank’s sponsorship. 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.

List the results (30% of vote)

The locally focused PR-strategy worked like a charm, resulting in massive coverage from the local newspapers. Throughout the first year 2025 press clippings were produced, generating more than 57 million media impressions – an average of 10 impressions per Dane! In addition to this, local leading TV-stations covered the events live on primetime television, exposing the sponsorship activities to more than 400.000 viewers at a time. As a result, 24% of all Danes now know of Sydbank as sponsor of the Cup. And the unaided awareness among the country's football fans is as much as 83.2% - 82% above the KPI. The attitude towards Sydbank as “emphatic and caring” increased by 19%. 17% state that they "fully agree" that Sydbank takes social responsibility - the highest among the country's six largest banks. There is clear causality between knowledge of the sponsorship and improved image parameters - the number of Danes who believe that Sydbank is socially responsible is 54% higher with knowledge of the sponsorship. After the sponsorship's first year, Sydbank is back in the top-3 of the most highly recommended banks. Among Danes with knowledge of Sydbank's sponsorship, the proportion who would recommend Sydbank to their peers is 40% higher than among people without sponsorship knowledge, which has led to an increase in new customers. The sponsorship as created a profit of 43 million euros resulting in an overall ROI of 68:1.