The English Football Association (FA) has been broadcasting classic matches and hosting a FIFA20 tournament to keep fan engagement high in the absence of football.
Using a combination of former English football stars, classic England matches and a FIFA20 tournament, the FA has crafted an alternative remote digital strategy to engage football fans with the English national teams in the absence of live football.
The FA’s Football’s Staying Home initiative encouraged people to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic whilst learning, having fun and playing football.
16 England players from the men’s and women’s senior teams and the men’s U21 team participated in a knockout FIFA20 tournament, the Football’s Staying Home Cup. Players included Lucy Bronze, Marcus Rashford and Todd Cantwell. Whilst playing, each match had live commentary by leading eSports commentators Brandon Smith and Richard Buckley.
The FA’s multi-platform approach has increased its reach and allows fans to engage with content across all of the FA’s digital channels, with the aim of raising awareness for the National Emergencies Trust.
Each match was broadcast to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter with live clips and highlights distributed in real-time and after each game. Using Grabyo, The FA was able to keep each production on-brand, activating sponsors and driving donations to the National Emergencies Trust.
Another initiative launched by The FA in recent weeks is #ReLions. An innovative way of keeping in touch with fans over the months on fan-free football, the FA are re-creating the live experience for fans by broadcasting classic matches to YouTube.
Further enhancing the fan experience, The FA used Grabyo’s remote production tools to bring in remote guests to commentate on the match and watch along. England’s famous victory over Germany in the 2002 World Cup qualifiers was historic for many reasons, as England beat Germany in Munich for their first qualifier defeat in the city. Who better to do a watch back than the hattrick scorer Micheal Owen, and fellow teammate who was also on the scoresheet from that night, Emile Heskey.
The pair, appearing from their own homes via webcam, discussed everything, from the match to goal celebrations, with remote host Adam Smith as they re-lived a great night for England.
Our long-standing partnership with The FA has enabled it to deliver a truly fan-first remote digital strategy in a challenging time for content production. Enabling fans to stay in touch with football from the safety of their homes while having the ability to work remotely ensures continuity across The FA channels, with several campaigns being produced as part of the Football’s Staying Home initiative.