Lucozade Sport Conditions Zone

17. Best Use of Public Relations in a Sponsorship Campaign
SPONSOR (insert n/a if entering Agency category or Rights Holder category): 
Lucozade Sport
RIGHTS HOLDER/RECIPIENT ORGANISATION (insert n/a if entering Agency category): 
Speed Communications
Speed Communications
SPEND ON ACTIVATION. If entering Agency cat., give most recent annual fee income. Rights Holder cat. entrants, enter N/A.: 
CAMPAIGN MISSION STATEMENT (insert n/a if entering Agency or Rights Holder categories): 

Speed and the integrated agency team were set the challenge of making Lucozade Sport ‘the most talked about sports drink’ during the FIFA World Cup.

With no tournament sponsorship rights, the mission was to leverage the cultural and sporting momentum and ‘talkability’ of the tournament and lead the conversation around the impact of playing conditions on fuelling and hydration. The key objective of the campaign was to create a World Cup-relevant experiential event with science at the heart, bringing to life the claim that Lucozade Sport ‘Enhances Hydration, Fuels Performance’.

We created the ‘Lucozade Sport Conditions Zone’ – a bespoke, state-of-the-art immersive experience in Canary Wharf - offering grassroots footballers the chance of playing 5-a-side football in the same conditions as England’s opening World Cup game in Manaus, Brazil (average conditions: 32°C and 76% humidity).


Campaign Background

During the Summer of 2014 we brought Brazil to London.

Lucozade Sport’s Conditions Zone demonstrated the best use of PR, not just across the year but also against its competitors around the FIFA World Cup. We created the perfect synergy between the news agenda, Lucozade Sport the brand, and the science behind the product, delivering a world class PR campaign.

The draw for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, confirmed England’s first match in Manaus, where players would experience temperatures of 32 degrees with 76% humidity – through this, the concept for the Conditions Zone was born. The perfect platform for our target market - grassroots football players - where they could experience the same conditions as Brazil.
Our PR strategy was simple; own the conversation around conditions during the World Cup. For media, the venue was the perfect experiential platform to report on the conditions story. We built brand credibility by demonstrating the science behind Lucozade Sport’s products and providing evidence of its efficacy in the extreme playing conditions of Manaus.

Campaign: Educate the target audience on the science of fuel and hydration through the lens of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
PR: Drive the conversation on ‘playing’ conditions and how these affect performance. Position Lucozade Sport as the solution.

Execution and Exploitation

The 2014 FIFA World Cup was crowded with brands all trying to get their place at the table. To ensure we gained cut through with the media we began our conversations in January for an event that wouldn’t launch until June – we were the first brand from any category to speak to the media about the World Cup. We decided to focus our PR efforts on the build up to the opening game and the three weeks of the group stages. The peak of the activity would need to happen just before the Manaus game as England faced the hottest climate in Brazil. As Roy Hodgson said in one of his press conferences “England’s biggest competitor is not Messi, its Manaus”.

To ensure we executed our strategy successfully with a balance between the emotional and rational, we provided media with ex-professional talent that could talk about personal experiences of playing in World Cups in challenging conditions. The science messaging was landed via the perfect spokesperson for the campaign; Professor John Brewer and a wealth of statistics and messaging around hydration and fuelling in different playing conditions.

Along with our all-agency group, we crafted a series of media assets which we would seed to the media throughout the campaign live time to maintain consumer interest and land key messaging.

Pre-launch we built an interactive infographic that was created to lay the scientific foundations of the campaign. We secured an exclusive for this with a double page spread in the Metro. This would help us to achieve our objective to drive the conversation on playing conditions and directly relate our coverage to performance even before the Conditions Zone had launched. This was followed by the official launch announcement across sports trade & national media - the first time the Conditions Zone was seen by the public. We placed an exclusive interview with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin in The Daily Telegraph and an exclusive preview on “The Heat” TV advert, featuring the England captain, Steven Gerrard, for which we secured coverage with several national media.

The launch day of the Conditions Zone was key to ensuring we gained blanket national coverage and strong messaging. We secured Alan Shearer and Steve McManaman as expert spokespeople on World Cup playing conditions, to ensure media interest was high. This was balanced with our science spokesperson, Professor John Brewer. Over 30 national & broadcast media attended the launch day and we gained widespread coverage over the following week.

To maintain momentum beyond launch day, we hosted a series of media matches throughout ‘live time’. This enabled publications to really get into the science and create more in-depth features around the Conditions Zone.

As we approached the end of the group games and it became clear that England was not going to make it through to the next stage, we decided to move the conversation on to the Qatar 2022 debate to maintain consumer interest and remain relevant. The Qatar debate gave us another hook to talk to media, we ramped the heat up to replicate the even more extreme conditions players might have to face over there to further push the science messaging. We also invited media to feel an even hotter climate, resulting in another wave of national media coverage.

Outcome and Evaluation

In order to clearly track the success of our campaign results, we broke down the objectives and created six clear KPIs that would enable us to track our success beyond the coverage numbers. These were:

1. Lucozade Sport is the brand that leads the conversation on conditions in editorial
2. Science plays a role in the majority of coverage
3. The product plays a role in coverage - hero the new Brazilian guava flavour
4. PR plays a role in driving demand to play in the Conditions Zone
5. Coverage is sustained through the live time of the Conditions Zone
6. Minimise criticism of the Conditions Zone through CSR if necessary

We successfully met all our KPIs, along with over 100+ pieces of print, broadcast & online pieces we were able to achieve the following:

• 90% of coverage included conditions message (the remaining 10% talked solely around the product so did not include a conditions message).

• No other brand that attempted to enter the conditions debate made an impact on the media / consumers, enabling Lucozade Sport to lead the conversation.

• Coverage secured on BBC Breakfast, ITV London, ITN News, Good Morning Britain, Sky Sports News and across nearly all major national newspapers.

• Coverage landed throughout the live time of the Conditions Zone, not just in launch week.

• 74% of coverage include key science messaging, these were through interviews with John Brewer or use of the infographic.

• 100% coverage included the “Conditions Zone” & 52% of coverage included a call to action to sign-up at the website

• Launch day resulted in over 5,000 direct visits to & 7,037 organic searches for Lucozade Sport.

• 2,268 consumers played in the Conditions Zone (The LS Conditions Zone was fully booked the day after launch).

• Local charity, Active Communities London, was also invited to be amongst the first players in the Conditions Zone, attending our launch day and playing with the media on 3rd June. Equipment, including footballs, bibs and shin pads, were distributed Active Communities London once the Conditions Zone was disassembled.

There was no negative coverage of the campaign.

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