How Digital Republik Generated Leads And Built An Online Soccer Community For Soccer Connections

Case study by Digital Republik for Soccer Connections in which the agency helped build an online community of parents and kids for the soccer coaching brand, and generated leads

Soccer connections FB

The Client

PSL India P. Ltd. is a Mumbai headquartered Grassroots, soccer development company, operating two brands – ‘Soccer Connections’ & ‘Just-For-Kicks’ across 140 Schools in 4 cities in India. It provides focused, fun & family oriented Soccer training to children below the age of 12, using skilled International & Indian coaches, across India. They also coach very young children (“toddlers”) under their ‘Soccer Tots’ brand.

Soccer Connections also organizes very successful ‘little league’ events called the ‘Junior Football Championships’ (JFC) & the ‘School Football Championship (SFC)’, held once a year usually in the Oct/Nov months, through 11 to 12 weekends. It’s a fun program that uses football as a medium for children to learn teamwork, discipline, build character and get fit.

The Agency

Digital Republik is a Global Digital Marketing Company, headquartered out of Mumbai. We help brands execute Strategic &highly effective Digital Marketing campaigns across the Web, Mobile & any other form of New Media. We work with Brands/Clients across over 15 sectors, to plan their Strategy & Business Goals, blending robust in-house Engineering skills with Design& Tactical experience to achieve unprecedented results.

Problem Statement

In an age where Parents worry about a sedentary life for their kids, glued in front of a television screen or a hand-held device, PSL’s brand, Soccer Connections needed to address this concern & provide the means to get their kids out there on the field. Soccer has overtaken the minds of children in India today, far surpassing Cricket, but very few were being coached professionally.

PSL needed to immediately create a strong Online Presence (most parents of young kids in this age group are net-aware citizens), while engaging with the parents to enroll them for their Coaching & the Soccer League event.

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Identified Objectives

  • Build a loyal Soccer community online for parents as well as kids
  • Provide an online platform for parents to register themselves & their kids for JFC
  • Create social awareness & reach

The Strategy/Execution

Needless to say, the best way to reach out to parents & kids was through social media & email marketing. We also needed to leverage specific keywords being searched for online. Banner Ads on Google were the more obvious choice on various relevant portals. It is definitely one of the ways for a brand to get ‘Discovered’.

The first step to any digital campaign is to ensure the presence of a ‘Brand Anchor Destination’, essentially a Company Website, that reflected the brand ethos & a message suited for its primary target audience – the Parent & the secondary target audience – the Soccer Child. www.MySoccerConnections.com became that anchor.

Prior to the creation of this destination, the company had a corporate website, rather a brand website. The difference lay in providing all relevant information to the parent, about the brand’s Training Credentials, Schedules & Locations, in addition to the Championship Events Calendar, Rules & Scores.

It also added a simple e-Commerce functionality to enable Payment of Fees (Training & Event Participation), which, when you consider over 3100 children across 4 cities, was a very onerous task in itself, prior to this.

The second step was to build a credible and attractive social media presence. Facebook was the natural first medium, where the brand page was revamped completely. A content plan was devised that provided a mix of generic & brand centric content, which gave the TG the best of both the worlds. Along with Facebook, Instagram was also targeted in the media mix. By the nature of the medium, since Instagram is visually appealing, it helped the brand connect with the users in real time & personal basis.

The 2-point focus here was to ensure that the audience found the brand page to be ‘Relevant & Engaging’. This was reflected in the use of certain images that resonated with the parents & the soccer kids.

Using the Hashtag: #CaptionThis, an audience engagement campaign was created, which revolved around a kid’s daily fun moments captured on-the-field while training. We asked the fan base to coin a funny caption for that particular photograph.

Soccer is truly a team sport & we believed in uniting teams, but also in making it a ‘Family-Fun’ game. Hence #MyJFCSelfie for the Best JFC Event Selfie was promoted. Human size, back drops were created & placed on the sports field, where teams, players & their parents would take their pictures with the #MyJFCSelfiehashtag, adding their entry to a weekly contest on the best pictures. Needless to say, this was a huge hit & parents today keep these framed photographs in their homes as a memory of the event.

jfc_selfie_contest

Using the Hashtag: #EatSleepSoccerRepeat, the brand message extended beyond just the digital medium (on T-Shirts, Printed material etc.) & provided the kids with ‘Gyaan’ on soccer & the JFC Event & updates.

Social Media was purely to generate Engagement, Awareness & Reach, essentially to ‘Build The Brand’. We also used real images of students & kids to create a personal connect. This worked the best since there was a competitive spirit in every kid, as they too wanted to be featured on the social media page.

Who doesn’t love to show off? To tap this emotion of the people & to leverage the Reach & Engagement, we created a #TheUltimateSoccerNerd contest which was a quiz on Soccer. This increased the engagement and we think this made Soccer Connections a ‘Connected & Loved’ brand amongst the kids.

soccer_nerd_contest

Moving beyond FB, Google Banner Ads on various relevant keywords like ‘Football Coaching for Kids’, ‘Soccer Training in Mumbai’, ‘Fun Activities for Kids’ etc. got new doors opened for those parents who had not heard about Soccer Connections or their International Soccer Training services for kids.

Finally, to ensure on-going engagement with the base of parents, reminders, scoreboards & other updates were sent out through E-mailers & SMS text messages. The e-mailers were designed & executed in a way that provided a ‘Ready Reckoner’ to the parents.

Results

In One Word – Phenomenal. Within just 5 months of the planning & execution, the numbers said it all:

  • FB Likes went up from 1,132 to almost 15,060 in a span of 5 months, from October 2014 to March 2015 – totally organic & legimate (non-purchased).
  • #TheUltimateSoccerNerd contest got 20 entries with a reach of 100,000+ audience on FB.
  • The Average Monthly Traffic in October (the beginning of the program) was just 938 which jumped to 4,035 visitors every month.
  • 202 Leads from prospective parents, generated from Google Adwords alone (Text & Banner Ads).
  • The JFC Event got more than 100 schools participating with 440 students registered.
  • This has paved the way for the company organizing India’s largest Inter-school Football Championship (www.SFCLeague.com) with over 2000 children participating from schools.

Observations/Lessons

In an age where parents worry about a sedentary life for their kids, glued in front of a television screen or a hand-held device, PSL’s brand, Soccer Connections succeeded in addressing this concern & provided the means to get their kids out there on the field. It not only ‘Engaged’ the kids, but also succeeded in grabbing the attention of the parents. It helped the parents teach their children the true spirit of Sportsmanship.