2018 Finalist

Herald Sun Full-On Footy Tour 2017

News Corp Australia

Southbank, Australia

Category Best Use of an Event to Build a News Brand

Overview of this campaign

AFL fans represent a key audience for the Herald Sun:

1.            Over 1.7 million AFL fans, representing 73% of total Victorian AFL fans, turn to the Herald Sun (print & digital) for AFL coverage each month 

2.            2.3 million Victorians support an AFL team / identify as an AFL fan (50% of the Vic population)

3.            Sport coverage is a key purchase driver among Herald Sun (print & digital) readers – 1.3 million or 42.2% of Herald Sun readers read Herald Sun sports section in the last month 

4.            AFL content accounts for 30% of HS monthly page views (March - Oct- Peak AFL season)

5.            39% of new subscriptions come from premium footy content

6.            Majority of AFL fans who read the Herald Sun are aged 35-49 years old / have young families

Ahead of the start of the 2017 AFL season, the Herald Sun sought to showcase / leverage its connection with footy fans across Victoria to:

•             Boost brand awareness / value proposition as the Number 1 AFL publisher in Victoria

•             Build talent profiles

•             Drive potential subscriptions / sales leads

•             Deliver data capture for future marketing purposes

We did this by partnering with sister organisations – Foxtel and Fox Footy, coinciding with the first year of a new six-year AFL broadcasting rights deal.

Through this partnership, we created a joint community engagement initiative; the tour spanned 3 weeks, 7 football clubs and involved 20 footy experts bringing the combined expertise and value of all three brands to life in a tangible way.

Importantly there were two parts to the event series targeting different segments: 1) an afternoon family footy festival, 2) Sportsman’s Night / Panel discussion and Q&A for adults

Crucially, this translated into sales and marketing potential and generated immeasurable goodwill and outstanding publicity for all three brands.

Results for this campaign

The devotion, passion and feedback[1] from the club community affirmed the tour’s success.

The tour generated:

  • Windfall financial gains: $50,200 raised for grassroots football, smashing fundraising benchmark by over 200%[2] and enabling one club to raise 57% of anticipated annual funds in just one day and another to raise six times the estimated target[3]
  • Immeasurable goodwill and engagement: 2000+ football fans attended the 7 events; 10 lucky subscribers attended final gala event; 5000+ page impressions from subscriber exclusive live streamed panel discussion
  • Outstanding reach: Sustained, positive coverage worth $2.1 million over 90 days, across owned and earned media – including 56 print articles, 12 radio interviews, 6 TV stories, and 302 online stories, including 36 published in the Herald Sun alone – reached 10.2 million Australians throughout the period[4]
  • Unrivalled opportunity for the Herald Sun to engage with core footy audience to reinforce ongoing value & encourage continued purchase. In total 133 subscription / sales opportunities sourced; 300  leads for qualitative post-tour survey

[1] Testimonials from Club Presidents Kilcunda FNC and Nathalia FNC

[2] Terms & conditions stated Clubs must raise at least $2000 each from a minimum 100 tickets sold at $20/ticket profit (Total $14,000)

[3] Traralgon raised 57% or $11,400 of annual $20,000 target; Lyndhurst raised 40% or $2300 of annual $5800 target and Kilcunda Bass raised $13,000 - six times more than forecast

[4] iSentia Media Monitoring, March 2017


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