Optus Sport Social Content Case Study
In November 2015, Telco Optus shocked the Sports broadcast world by winning the rights to the English Premier League.
While Optus described it as “a significant step in their strategy to become a mobile-led multimedia company”, Aussie football fans weren’t convinced. Initial reaction to Optus’ offer was hostile, with many fans frustrated at pricing and the fact they would have to switch providers.
Our job was to build Optus’ Premier League credentials on social. We needed to reassure skeptical football fans that Optus understood the Premier League, and position them as a credible voice of The Beautiful Game.
After all, football is more than just a sport. It’s a way of life.
Australian interest in the Premier League was at an all-time high, but being a Premier League fan Down Under can be a solitary experience. Fans have to get up in the early hours to watch their team live, or risk spoilers from mates if they watch the game on-demand the next day.
How do we make these loyal Australian-based supporters feel connected to the Premier League?
Our strategy on social was to position Optus Sport as ‘The Football Insider’. To do this, we needed to show that we were more obsessed about the Premier League than even the most die-hard fan, and initiate conversations on social around key moments as they were happening.
To ensure that we delivered this, we divided our editorial approach into three different themes. Planned stories, anticipated stories and reactive moments. And created a plan around each theme.
These were the moments we knew were going to happen. This included season launch, key fixtures and anniversary content. We used monthly sessions to identify key stories and moments for the upcoming month that we could prepare for in advance.
This content revolved around moments that we expected to happen, but the outcome was not fully known until an event had taken place. This included key results, record breaking moments or major signings.
Through weekly sessions, we were able to identify anticipated stories and pre-plan different scenarios with assets that could be used in real-time to bottle key moments.
The third stream accounted for the unexpected moments such as breaking transfer news and managerial sackings.
We created a series of templates and content formats that allowed us to be agile and turn around content in real-time.
Our reactive, always-on editorial approach celebrated the excitement of the Premier League and crucially gave football fans the content that they craved in the moments they wanted to talk about it.
In the first season, our content helped cement Optus Sports’ association with the Premier League among Australian fans. We received over 77 million impressions, which helped to grow our social audience by over 250%.
Football fans lapped up our content with over 300K engagements and 12 million videos views, on Facebook alone.
Most importantly, our content approach helped shift the perception of Optus Sport among fans, moving conversations away from pricing and service, towards the football itself.