The Wembley Cup 2015

Every football fan has dreamed of playing at the home of football – Wembley stadium.

Since EE’s partnership with Wembley Stadium kicked off last year, we are always looking at exciting new ways to bring our partnership to life.

I’m going to tell you about one of my recent marketing campaigns that allowed that dream to come true for 28 of the biggest footballing YouTubers on the planet.

This is the story of the biggest football match in YouTube history – The Wembley Cup. A match that was watched by more people than tuned into the Champions League Final on TV last year and that engaged and entertained millions of fans along the way.

The EE brand has only existed for three years but in that relatively short period of time we have enjoyed a number of highly successful brand collaborations with YouTubers and the platform has been critical in helping us to build our brand during that time.

We’ve been sponsoring Wembley Stadium for a year and we have a shared ambition with them to make it the most connected stadium in the world. We were looking for an idea that could shine a light on our partnership and highlight our association with this iconic British symbol.

We wanted to go beyond traditional sponsorship activation tactics and were looking for a fresh and innovative idea that would really cut through and appeal to our critical young, tech savvy audience.

We teamed up with one of them, the brilliant Spencer Owen, better known as Spencer FC, one the biggest football vloggers and Fifa players in the UK to help us.

Spencer approached our creative agency POKE, with the idea of hosting a YouTube content series between himself and 27 of his fellow YouTubers.

At its core, the idea was to have two captains, each tasked with building their own squad through episodic challenges building up to the grand finale between the two sides played at Wembley Stadium.

We instantly loved the idea of taking these stars, the majority of which are known for their online videos and FIFA gaming skills, and showing their audience what they can do in real life.

The 10 part series followed the teams on the road to Wembley as they took part in a variety of challenges and received help and advice from FA and England coaches and a host of football stars including Martin Keown, Ray Wilkins, Matt LeTissier and Andros Townsend.

The Wembley Cup has been a genuinely collaborative effort. We took guidance from Spencer and the other YouTubers to create an entertaining and engaging series and with the addition of our technology and Wembley partnership we collectively managed to deliver something to the audience on a scale which they had never seen before.

We collaborated with a host of other YouTubers including Gennaro from Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube who gave the lads some dietary tips. We even kept up the time honoured tradition of recording a Wembley team song and enlisted the help of super producer Brett Domino to lay down the catchy Spencer FC anthem.

The Wembley Cup launched in mid-July, with the final airing on 8th August, the start of the new Premier league season which allowed us to capitalise on the pre-season football buzz.

We used data to understand who chose to watch the first episode in order to target them with the second and third. And we optimised in real time, driving even higher engagement.

The Wembley Cup has been a roaring success – to date the 10 episodes and all the additional behind the scenes footage have generated over 36 million views. This equates to a staggering 290 years’ worth of viewing or enough to travel to Mars and back 249 times.

But more pleasingly it’s not just the amount of time people have spent watching the content that’s been fantastic the levels of engagement have been brilliant as well – we’ve had over 630 thousand YouTube Likes (99%+ positive) and 55 thousand YouTube comments, as well as 77 thousand tweets/retweets.

In addition to this we also saw a 300% increase in brand searches during the campaign and a 8% increase in brand consideration for EE amongst this key target audience.

Will we have a rematch next year? Watch this space…