Bright Partnerships delivers for DHL and Manchester United

Bright Partnerships created a global campaign that would support DHL’s objective, to be the logistics company for the world. DHL United.Delivered. was conceived to identify ways to harness DHL’s global presence in order to reach, celebrate and unite the millions of fans around the world not lucky enough to visit Old Trafford or to see Manchester United play in person.

DHL’s partnership with the club brings two global brands together with over 659 million Manchester United FC fans worldwide alongside one of the world’s most international companies based in over 220 countries.

Bright Partnerships used live experiences and power of story-telling to showcase DHL’s role as Official Logistics Partner and to humanise the brand in a non-corporate and fan-engaging tone.

DHL doesn’t have products/services from which revenue can be derived directly during sponsorship activities. However, the club and its partners are customers of DHL for their business needs, and DHL delivers merchandise purchased from the club’s online store.

The objectives for DHL’s partnership with Man Utd were:

  • Drive purchase intention, brand loyalty and advocacy through quality of experiences.
  • Achieve cost-effective reach and consumer engagement.
  • Engage employees and build pride amongst DHL’s global network of staff.

The specific objectives for the United.Delivered. campaign included:

  • Drive high reach and engagement with Man Utd fans through their passion for their club by delivering a piece of Man Utd to them.
  • Create unique, video-focused content and storytelling opportunities across Man Utd and DHL channels and platforms.
  • Drive growth of @DHLManUtd Twitter channel.
  • Maximise the use of partnership assets, including effective use of promotional assets to amplify campaign messages.

The campaign was executed across two major activations:

Shirt Delivery

Fans were asked to follow @DHLManUtd, post a tweet using #DHLUnitedDelivered and tag a fellow fan they deemed deserving of a new shirt.

Fifty fans were drawn and they (and their friend) received an exclusive delivery containing a personalised new season shirt and a VR headset pre-loaded with exclusive 360 content. The VR experience included four mannequins wearing the new kit who then transformed into Man Utd players on the Old Trafford pitch, performing tricks before virtually ‘hand-delivering’ the fan their personalised shirt.

DHL successfully delivered all 100 fans’ prizes on the same day that the new kit launched in Manchester, which provided DHL with the opportunity to showcase the brand’s logistical expertise alongside a highly anticipated event on the club’s calendar.

Global football tour

 DHL launched the United.Delivered. Global Football Tour – a season-long campaign which showcased DHL’s ability to deliver a Man Utd experience to fans around the world. United.Delivered. started with the Man Utd first team being filmed having a kick-around with the official tour football.

Man Utd fans, DHL customers, and employees were directed to the website to register and host a match at their chosen venue. Hosts were selected based on their passion and enthusiasm for the club and campaign. Each match was played between a Red and a Yellow team, using the official tour ball and a box of training gear and GoPro cameras, all hand delivered on the day of the match by a DHL employee.

To engage fans who didn’t have the opportunity to play a match with the official touring ball, a ‘Red vs Yellow’ predictor competition was run on @DHLManUtd Twitter whereby fans were asked to predict the winner of the match, with each winner receiving the new shirt, delivered by DHL.

To capture footage and imagery, a GoPro travelled the world to each of the 72 matches. We also commissioned local film crews at 25 matches in various locations to capture high-quality match footage, location shots and fan interviews.

The blend of GoPro and professional footage, created highly-watchable video content which showcased the locations the ball had visited and shared emotive stories of fans’ who had been brought closer to Man Utd through the power of one football and DHL.

After 10 months of the official ball touring the globe, two hosts were selected to bring their teams, and the official football, back to Old Trafford to play the final match of the DHL United.Delivered. Tour back where it all began, at the Theatre of Dreams.

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