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The Real Game Changer

The Real Game Changer

Michael Carnevale

Michael Carnevale

February 13, 2019

These athletes are rewriting the rules of interaction with fans.

"It’s a concentrated source of content where we see players being their whole self, with football being just one aspect..."

John Ogunmuyiwa, Creative at Havas London, talks about how a new platform is creating conversations between fans and soccer players.

 

How often do soccer fans get a chance to connect with their favorite players?

Through the use of Instagram, Twitter, and other social media, fans now have more opportunities than ever before to learn about and engage with their favorite players. But a lot of these interactions are generally heavily managed, and sometimes superficial; often, it’s essentially a new way of delivering press releases. So, when players such as Dele Alli and Benjamin Mendy share the things they do away from the pitch, fans enjoy being able to connect with them on a more genuine level—because that type of content isn’t the norm, and it’s not always in the same place.

So, how does OTRO aim to make these connections, and what can fans expect by subscribing?

OTRO is the place where the world’s best players can freely show their other side. It’s a concentrated source of content where we see players being their whole self, with football being just one aspect—their personality, family, gaming, dancing, and everything in between being the other. It’s the side we rarely get to see in between the matches and the interviews. And by following the daily lives of our players, OTRO acts as a fly on the wall, delivering moments and content you couldn’t see unless you were with these players 24 hours a day.

How many players are part of the conversation and platform?

OTRO launched with 17 of the biggest names in football, nine of whom we filmed for the campaign. The full list includes Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, James Rodriguez, Luis Suárez, Isco, Romelu Lukaku, Jérôme Boateng, Paulo  Dybala, Gabriel Jesus, Lieke Martens, Benjamin Mendy, Dele Alli, David Luiz, Toni Duggan, and Eric Cantona, with more top players to be added in the future. We launched the campaign through their social media accounts, which, combined, gave us a reach of almost one billion fans.

"After doing our homework, we came up with a range of options for each player based on his or her hobbies and vibe."

How tough was it to get these athletic superstars to show a more candid side for this campaign?

The toughest part was the research and finding out how these players actually like to spend their time off the pitch, which thankfully, due to OTRO, should be a lot easier moving forward. But you’d be surprised how little information there currently is on what the players do on their days off. Some players are more active than others on social media, so we spent a lot of time learning about the personal side of the players—their hobbies, their personalities, friends, etc.—which made it easier for the players to open up, as everything was catered toward the things they’re already interested in and care about.

What are some of the quirkiest revelations about the players?

It might not be the quirkiest, but we found out during filming that Messi and Suárez are actual, real-life friends. Their kids are also friends and play for the same football team. More surprisingly, we discovered Neymar can play Chariots of Fire on the piano.

Did the players decide what they’d like to reveal about themselves in this spot?

After doing our homework, we came up with a range of options for each player based on his or her hobbies and vibe. Each of them picked what best represented the side they wanted to reveal. For example, Benjamin Mendy is a performer through and through; he loves Afrobeat and has loads of energy—and so dancing in a jacuzzi felt very natural for him.

"It’s a concentrated source of content where we see players being their whole self, with football being just one aspect..."

John Ogunmuyiwa, Creative at Havas London, talks about how a new platform is creating conversations between fans and soccer players.

 

How often do soccer fans get a chance to connect with their favorite players?

Through the use of Instagram, Twitter, and other social media, fans now have more opportunities than ever before to learn about and engage with their favorite players. But a lot of these interactions are generally heavily managed, and sometimes superficial; often, it’s essentially a new way of delivering press releases. So, when players such as Dele Alli and Benjamin Mendy share the things they do away from the pitch, fans enjoy being able to connect with them on a more genuine level—because that type of content isn’t the norm, and it’s not always in the same place.

So, how does OTRO aim to make these connections, and what can fans expect by subscribing?

OTRO is the place where the world’s best players can freely show their other side. It’s a concentrated source of content where we see players being their whole self, with football being just one aspect—their personality, family, gaming, dancing, and everything in between being the other. It’s the side we rarely get to see in between the matches and the interviews. And by following the daily lives of our players, OTRO acts as a fly on the wall, delivering moments and content you couldn’t see unless you were with these players 24 hours a day.

How many players are part of the conversation and platform?

OTRO launched with 17 of the biggest names in football, nine of whom we filmed for the campaign. The full list includes Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, James Rodriguez, Luis Suárez, Isco, Romelu Lukaku, Jérôme Boateng, Paulo  Dybala, Gabriel Jesus, Lieke Martens, Benjamin Mendy, Dele Alli, David Luiz, Toni Duggan, and Eric Cantona, with more top players to be added in the future. We launched the campaign through their social media accounts, which, combined, gave us a reach of almost one billion fans.

"After doing our homework, we came up with a range of options for each player based on his or her hobbies and vibe."

How tough was it to get these athletic superstars to show a more candid side for this campaign?

The toughest part was the research and finding out how these players actually like to spend their time off the pitch, which thankfully, due to OTRO, should be a lot easier moving forward. But you’d be surprised how little information there currently is on what the players do on their days off. Some players are more active than others on social media, so we spent a lot of time learning about the personal side of the players—their hobbies, their personalities, friends, etc.—which made it easier for the players to open up, as everything was catered toward the things they’re already interested in and care about.

What are some of the quirkiest revelations about the players?

It might not be the quirkiest, but we found out during filming that Messi and Suárez are actual, real-life friends. Their kids are also friends and play for the same football team. More surprisingly, we discovered Neymar can play Chariots of Fire on the piano.

Did the players decide what they’d like to reveal about themselves in this spot?

After doing our homework, we came up with a range of options for each player based on his or her hobbies and vibe. Each of them picked what best represented the side they wanted to reveal. For example, Benjamin Mendy is a performer through and through; he loves Afrobeat and has loads of energy—and so dancing in a jacuzzi felt very natural for him.

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