Summary

The UEFA Champions League Final came to Cardiff in 2017. We designed and delivered a creative social media strategy for Visit Cardiff positioning the city as about much more than just a match.

Objectives
  • Develop a consistent and compelling narrative to give Cardiff a voice in a conversation predominantly about football
  • Deliver a targeted social media and digital campaign that engages key target audiences (fans of last 16 football teams, potential tourists, social influencers, local businesses, local residents and stakeholders)
  • Drive target audience to www.visitcardiff.co.uk 
Results
  • Social media reach of 2,190,100 people  - a 975% increase in the average 
  • 1454% engagement increase on Final day
  • 49,144 video guide views
  • International video guides got talked about on BBC’s The One Show, WalesOnline, S4C and more
  • Influencers including: Gary Lineker, Champions League, Ian Rush, Joe Calzaghe, UEFA, FAW, Pepsi Max UK, Juventus FC and fan groups across Europe engaged with our content
  • 35% of Visit Cardiff’s audience now has an interest in football (15% higher than the average Twitter user)
  • Traffic numbers to the website for the week of the UCL Final = 36,408 (highest traffic numbers to the website for 2017 and over 10,000 more than any other week)
  • Weekly average traffic numbers to the website = 17,530 (139% increase).
2m+
Social content reach
1454%
increase in social engagement
Influencers
engaged inc. Gary Lineker, Ian Rush, UEFA and more
Annual record
web traffic
How we did it?

Establishing a voice

The Champions League Final is sport's richest event.  With so many competing voices in a crowded conversation generally about football,  we developed a unique voice for the host city which was clear and compelling, positioning the city as the ultimate stage to visit, meet, invest through disruptive and shareable content that screamed ‘share me!’. We wanted our creative content to showcase the very best of Cardiff, and show that it is a city had more than a 90-minute football match.  We strategically adopted a tone that is in keeping with Cardiff’s fun, creative and irreverent side to ensure our content was distinct, exciting and sharable. Throughout the knock out rounds and draws leading up to the UCL Final, we published reactive social content that strengthened the connection between Cardiff and the world’s most prestigious football match by playing on Cardiff and Welsh culture, people and places. Distributed across Facebook and Twitter channels, our team produced witty, highly shareable content that grabbed the attention of our key target audiences including social influencers such as Ian Rush, Gary Lineker and UEFA.

Putting Cardiff on the map

Enlisting the help of  local faces originally from overseas, we created a series of guides that showcased the very best of Cardiff to fans across Europe. As well as translating the guides into the native languages of the football clubs, we filmed videos with each of our ItalianSpanishGermanCatalan and French ‘insiders’ to be utilised across Twitter and Facebook.

In a similar vein, we enlisted the support of some of the most notable businesses and business leaders from Cardiff to lend their respected voices in order to effectively promote the city as a place to invest in. Leading up to the UCL Final, we published a series of graphics which included quotes from these individuals on what the UCL Final coming to Cardiff means for them and their business, and why European companies should take Cardiff seriously as a legitimate city on the international business stage.

As Europe counted down to the biggest football match of the year, it was only right that Cardiff did the same. In a bid to showcase the best the city has to offer to travelling fans and help build excitement amongst locals, we posted a photo on Facebook and Twitter every day from a popular Cardiff landmark. To maximise engagement, we tweeted a close-up photo from the location in the morning and asked followers to guess where we were that day to win UCL tickets, with the destination being revealed in full later in the evening.

Being Europe’s eyes and ears

We collated a series of Cardiff guides to strengthen the voice of the host city and showcase that Cardiff is more than a 90-minute city; from culture, food, family activities, group activities and couple activities. These video guides were image-led, with followers signposted to the website for further information to help drive traffic and hit our objectives. 

Living in Cardiff, we knew that we were in a unique position to be the eyes and ears on-the-ground for European football fans; providing them with an exclusive insight into both the preparation that a city undergoes to host the UCL Final, as well as an ‘insider’ view during the festivities. As with all our content, we focused on amplifying Cardiff’s voice through our playful style that ensured high levels of engagement.

Given the chatty, personal tone and style that we had adopted throughout the campaign, we wanted to be in-keeping with this for the end of the campaign. As well as tweeting our diolch to our target audiences, we commissioned a number of a print and media articles to run in WalesOnline, Western Mail and South Wales Echo on the Monday following the final.