MasterCard's Rugby Sponsorship Offers #44DaysofCrazy - Event Marketer

MasterCard’s Rugby Sponsorship Offers #44DaysofCrazy

016 Ex_EX_Sports_Mastercard
Brand: MASTERCARD
Agency: OCTAGON
Awards: EX AWARDS — BEST ACTIVATION OF A SPORTS SPONSORSHIP
Year: 2016

MasterCard isn’t known for its heritage in rugby, so to give its brand a boost throughout its sponsorship of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, it unleashed #44daysofcrazy—a series of surprise and delight experiences that engaged fans over the 44 days of the tournament. From impromptu rugby anthems sung on the steps of the Paris Opera House to double decker buses staffed with face painters to athlete surprise appearances, MasterCard gave its “priceless” moniker new meaning with new and existing customers, earning a $45 million uplift in card usage as a result.

The strategy focused on three peak moments in the customer journey: ticketing, getting ready and the tournament. A promotion on the Ticketmaster website to “Pay with a MasterCard for a chance at Priceless Surprises” delivered surprise athlete appearances in London, among other unexpected perks. During the getting ready phase, the brand “turned the world oval” (as a nod to the rugby ball’s shape) through 98 campaigns across five continents that touched fans everywhere from the Heathrow Express to the golf course, where pro golfer Ian Poulter surprised fans by playing golf with a rugby shaped golf ball.

During the tournament, the brand took over all major transportation hubs, turned 50 cabs “oval,” unleashed yet more surprise experiences and opened up the largest-ever MasterCard Clubhouse activation hub in the Richmond Fan Zone.

Thanks to #44daysofcrazy, MasterCard was named the most talked about brand of the World Cup, with 31 percent share of voice. And consumers used their MasterCards more often contributing to an increase of 558,000 transactions.

Say it with us now: Priceless.

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