Burger King became the official sponsor of Stevenage FC. After the ‘Stevenage Challenge,’ Stevenage became the most-played team in FIFA 20
Following the ‘Stevenage Challenge,’ the League 2 club Stevenage became the most-played team in FIFA 20 Career Mode. At the start of the following 2019–20 season, Burger King became the official sponsor of Stevenage FC, a club in England’s fourth division.
The Stevenage Challenge, created in collaboration with David The Agency, encouraged users of the popular football video game Fifa 20 to choose Stevenage FC from the available teams and to achieve a number of in-game objectives on behalf of the club.
Burger King’s effort was designed to make the club, which was previously relatively obscure, into one of the largest online clubs in the world. The international fast food franchise issued a challenge to all FIFA players to choose Stevenage as their team in online or Career Mode competitions. Then, in exchange for Burger King vouchers and meals, participants were invited to upload video recordings of their progress toward their targets online.
There was a wide variety of challenges to face. Goals scored in a variety of ways are counted, including those that are scored directly off corners or free kicks or those that are scored after the ball has travelled farther than the halfway line. That was done while wearing one of the two Burger King–sponsored Stevenage FC jerseys.
To get their reward, challengers had to flaunt their success on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. In career mode, players may sign famous players from other teams to play for Stevenage. Each player would wear a Burger King-sponsored jersey. The action taken by Burger King was brilliant. That’s why you see the company’s emblem on the chests of superstar athletes like Lionel Messi, Ronaldo, Paul Pogba, Mo Salah, and Neymar. Rather than shelling out a fortune it would take to actually get it there in the real world.
The “Stevenage Challenge” began in October 2019 and ran for a little over two weeks. More than 25,000 goals had been scored by Stevenage users in this short time. From the launch of FIFA 20, they were made available online. The campaign was so successful that it was the first time in the club’s history that all available sizes of the home jersey were purchased.
The Stevenage Club
After coming 23rd out of 24 clubs in League Two the previous season, the club was saved from relegation to the National League only because Bury was demoted to League Two along with bottom-placed Macclesfield Town
Stevenage became famous for its unconventional approach. Instead of providing printed copies of their matchday programmes, they provided digital ones.
With larger teams like Arsenal, West Ham, Tottenham, and Watford in close proximity, it is difficult for them to recruit new supporters, as seen by their average attendance of fewer than 3,000.
Integrating competitive gaming with the sport
Digital real estate surpassed the value of physical assets. To the tune of 1.2 billion impressions, Stevenage’s commercial was seen. Publicity like this wouldn’t be available to a League Two team until they advanced to at least the FA Cup’s third or fourth round.
Smart and economical advertising
The FIFA video game series is the most successful sports video game series ever. Electronic Arts (EA), the creators, said in September 2018 that since FIFA’s inception in 1993, the firm had sold more than 260 million copies across all FIFA titles. There were reportedly 7 billion football matches played in the 2018 edition, with 17 billion goals scored. Twenty million people from 60 different nations participate in FIFA’s international league.
Burger King and Stevenage FC benefited greatly from the publicity afforded by this platform. The greatest number of annual home and away matches played at the Stevenage FC stadium is 52. There’s enough for 2,800 fans in the Lamex Stadium, where they play. Considering that England’s national team plays in Wembley Stadium, which has 90,000 seats, this is quite a little smaller. It’s clear that Stevenage lacks the financial backing to compete with the country’s top teams and will have to wait several seasons before it can challenge for the Premier League.
Stevenage FC, who play, will be included in the same video game as the high-priced stars. This is why the fast food behemoth chose to be Stevenage’s official sponsor because their logo would be in the game if they wore authentic shirts with it.
Burger King may be able to reach a massive audience 24/7 through the digital FIFA 20 platform, in contrast to the restricted exposure the company receives during actual games. Given that Stevenage FC is a small club with a small fan base, Burger King’s decision to sponsor the team may have come as a surprise. When compared to the £64 million that Chevrolet spent to sponsor Manchester United FC’s jerseys, Burger King’s plan was both creative and cheap. And for a lot less money, you can have the same digital exposure as the businesses that sponsor the biggest clubs. Reportedly, Burger King just had to pay £50,000 to become Stevenage’s main sponsor.
Free food and other incentives may encourage more people to play Stevenage. Gamers took to this in a big way. Almost overnight, Stevenage became the team of choice, and the gamers started signing the best players who would play for the club. Overnight, a small club mushroomed into the virtual world’s largest squad. Both Stevenage and Burger King benefited much from the publicity.
Different approaches to reaching your market
The fast food chain Burger King understood how to appeal to gamers by appealing to their need for a challenge and a payoff. They made the most of their sponsorship by promoting it via social media. Burger King’s brand was promoted to millions of people across the globe thanks to this very creative advertising campaign. They were able to get the same level of exposure for far less money.
Burger King’s success demonstrates that there are channels many businesses are overlooking to reach their customers. They have shown how far social media marketing can go when done well. The fast food company has won several honours thanks to its brilliant advertising campaign. In the meanwhile, Stevenage FC is still one of FIFA’s most played teams.