MASTERCARD, New York / MASTERCARD / 2020
Mastercard has been a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup since 2011. At the 2019 tournament, Mastercard faced the unique challenges. First, to connect with a global audience of engaged fans, which meant cutting through the noise. Second, to connect with domestic Japanese fans in a market less familiar with both rugby and Mastercard. Across both, we needed to truly personify the brand’s Priceless vision and gave fans something to engage with.
Most importantly, the entire project had to feel authentic to rugby fans, a specific audience often overlooked or misunderstood by global advertisers, across 45 matches in 44 days at 12 different venues. Given the magnitude of the event and the unique opportunity of location, Mastercard presented the Player of the Match trophy, to amplify presence and win the attention of rugby fans all over the world.
The decision to sponsor the Player of the Match trophy gave Mastercard the opportunity to connect in real-time with fans during their most passionate rugby moments.
We built a consumer journey around three audiences; Rugby Lovers, Rugby Followers and Potential Fans, expanding our potential target audience from 960,000 engaged fans to 36 million, which enabled us to prioritize markets and investments to dynamically optimize over 800 assets based on the market and audience target people were part of.
We ran two distinct workstreams throughout every match. A real-time social response campaign that engaged fans around moments with the most conversation, while the other monitored social media conversation. The social moments with the highest spikes were mapped back to the commentators’ narrative and stitched together by our AI integration, creating a snapshot of the POTM’s performance, which was then engraved onto the trophy and presented to the player, on-field.
During each match, Mastercard used World Rugby's social channels to encourage fans to tweet and share their Priceless moments of the match during the game, allowing direct engagement with fans across the world. Top posts were then paired with official commentary from the most exciting moments of the match, determined by a bespoke social listening API, and engraved directly onto the trophy. Fans and athletes alike were engaged with the creation of the trophy via Tweets encouraging them to use #MastercardPOTM, while influencers and Mastercard pushed content out behind-the-scenes. This was a completely new model for the trophy, one that was driven by moments that captured fan’s attention, rather than traditional match moments.
Each trophy was custom engraved in the seven minutes between the final whistle and the POTM presentation and presented by a Mastercard ambassador on a branded backdrop during the live broadcast just moments after the final whistle.
•Created unique trophies at 45 matches in 6 weeks at 12 stadiums across 2,337 km
•80% share of voice amongst RWC Worldwide Partners
•Increased market share in Japan 4X during the campaign period
•3.06 billion cumulative reach across social and broadcast
•Earned more than $3.7M of media due to the innovative execution and real time storytelling.
•+25% increase in Mastercard favorability among Exposed vs. Control
Drove consumer engagement:
•Earned media mentions 6X higher than Worldwide Partner Average
•Successfully leveraged 7 global Influencers who delivered an estimated 3.7MM organic impressions on IG (+66% to benchmark)
•Influencer content achieved 84.9K Total Engagements, which was 19.9% above the target and a social media value that exceeded the target by 205.6%
Increased brand awareness:
•93% positive sentiment on social media
•470.5 Million interactions on social posts promoting Mastercard
•The POTM trophy generated reach of over 97MM via 547 press placements