The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world of live sports forever – but it’s also created new opportunities to drive greater fan engagement than ever before.
Last week, Orlando Pirates and adidas unveiled the club’s new kit for the 2020/21 season – and it certainly got South Africa talking, so much so that #orlandopirates topped the Twitter trends for more than 24 hours.
Having an eye-catching orange away jersey certainly helped, but the real success of the launch lay in taking the event to the fans at a time when they’re excited to reconnect with their team.
“Before Covid-19, our jersey launches were generally restricted to media but by hosting a virtual press conference this year, we gave fans the chance to hear directly from the Club and their favourite players. Having this multi-platform engagement created a deep connection with fans,” said Bob Maphosa, Sports Marketing Manager of adidas South Africa.
More than 3,000 fans live-streamed the launch event, with the launch video being viewed 27,700 times after the launch.
The virtual press conference was just one of the strategies used for the launch. The day kicked off hours earlier, with prime-time television and radio interviews followed by hand delivered jerseys to avid Pirates supporters by adidas brand ambassadors wearing skeleton suits and driving bright orange Mustangs.
“In a time of social distancing, we used a mix of traditional media together with social and digital platforms to take the launch far and wide. Covid-19 presented the opportunity to find new ways to reach our audience, and the results have been incredible,” said Maphosa.