How Hill + Knowlton Strategies Helped Wanda Support The Future Of Chinese Football

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During the 2018 Fotball World Cup Hill + Knowlton Strategies have been working with Dalian Wanda, a major Chinese conglomerate, to amplify their top-tier partnership with FIFA.

One of 6 Chinese sponsors of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, Wanda have been reluctant to activate their rights since signing up to the sponsorship of FIFA in 2016. In the days leading up to the tournament however, a Hill + Knowlton Strategies team featuring individuals in London, Beijing and Madrid have been working to make the most of the huge platform of the FIFA World Cup.

Set the challenge of finding a distinctive message for Wanda ahead of the tournament, the team in London developed a set of messaging centred on Wanda’s role in supporting the future of Chinese football. While Wanda hasn’t communicated much around its football partnerships globally, it has supported several schemes aimed at growing the game in China.

One of those schemes is the “Rising Stars” programme, a partnership between Wanda and Atletico Madrid that sees Wanda send a group of Chinese children to Madrid to join the Atletico academy, giving them expert coaching, an education and new life experiences, all to help grow the next generation of Chinese football talent.

One of the rights granted to Wanda as part of their FIFA sponsorship is the right to sponsor the official Flag Bearers at the tournament in Russia.

Wanda has recruited kids from around the world to take on the role of flag bearers, and at several of the games kids from the Rising Stars programme in Madrid will make the journey over from Madrid, to experience walking out on to the pitch at the FIFA World Cup.

Wanda also have access to promote content via a variety of FIFA digital channels. Wanda briefed Hill + Knowlton Strategies with helping them communicate their position in football with content that could be used on these digital channels.

With that brief, Hill + Knowlton Strategies developed a storyboard for a documentary style film that would bring to life the Rising Stars and FIFA Flag Bearer programmes.

Writing a script and recruiting a talented crew, the team set off to Madrid where they were joined by Hill + Knowlton Strategies Madrid for two days of shooting with Atletico Madrid and some of the stars of the Rising Stars programme.

Post-shoot, a gruelling post production schedule had the team creating four different outputs in three different languages.

It was all worth it however, when the final film was created and launched to a great reception.

Appearing across global digital channels for Wanda, FIFA and Atletico Madrid, the piece achieved some impressive results, including:

  • Total opportunities to see – 63,092,988
  • Total views – 284,465
  • Total likes/shares/comments – 10,298

It’s even gone down so well, that Wanda are beginning to appreciate the potential of their FIFA partnership, potentially opening up more opportunities in the near future.


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