As SXSW coincided with the 100-day countdown to the 2018 World Cup, Fox Sports saw an opportunity to kick off an experiential marketing strategy. The network built a studio activation designed to further test its content strategy before leaving for the games in Moscow this summer.
The network’s marketing goal for the World Cup is to better reach general sports fans through its programming—especially since the United States did not qualify for the competition this year. The network attempted this by raising awareness and creating excitement among fans with the Fox Sports House, a four-day activation that celebrated the lifestyle elements of soccer through livestreamed shows, film debuts, panel discussions and art.
“Having TV rights to the World Cup is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so we had to do justice by properly marketing it, and SXSW was a great place to do that,” Lee Blevins, brand director of consumer marketing for Fox Sports, told AListDaily. “We have tremendous reach across all of our platforms and screens to promote the event, but we wanted to have a physical manifestation that created a lifestyle to market a cosmopolitan consumer group.”
Fox Sports’ content strategy for the World Cup consists of going beyond just linear TV by modifying unique opportunities on social platforms. So earlier this year, the network partnered with Twitter and Snapchat with a deal designed to amplify its live-event programming among digital natives.
At SXSW, the network produced four 30-minute livestream shows on Twitter so that it could further test and refine seamless viewing experiences and better learn what kind of content is resonating on each channel. The live Twitter shows and video clips included advertising packages that were also available for sponsors.
“It’s critical to have distribution partners to make our content accessible and for us to better reach our marketing goals,” said Blevins. “We want to tell stories the right way, but we also need reach different audiences.”