Introduction

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers represent more than a Canadian Football League (CFL) franchise that is rich in storied history, it is an institution for the city of Winnipeg, a team that has brought a community together to share in the thrilling victories and heartbreaking defeats. Many of us at EveryStudio 
have grown up hearing our family members reminisce about incredible 
Blue Bomber legends and nail-biting, snow-filled playoff games.

The legends and stories will always remain, however, the ways in which professional sports teams must tell them have changed. Today’s technologically driven landscape has transformed the marketing game for sports franchises; new communication methods, a multitude of channels and revamped strategies are now a requirement. Moreover, the younger generation is a fickle one, causing brands, teams, and organizations alike, to struggle in winning over the attention of sought-after millennials and Gen Z’ers. A shift is needed to effectively engage with these groups in order to build a loyal fan base for decades to come.

Campaign Objective

The Blue Bombers approached EveryStudio with the following high level objective: Attract and engage the younger demographic, in an effort to build a lasting loyalty towards the team.

Additionally, as is the case with any campaign, it was imperative that the execution had a high likelihood in creating shareable social engagement. It is increasingly difficult to breed lifelong fans in this demographic, and the Blue Bombers were searching for ways to connect with Winnipeg’s millennials and Gen Z’ers in an impactful way. The Bombers solicited EveryStudio to create a multi-faceted campaign to build awareness and assist in driving ticket sales among this age group.

Campaign Strategy and Tactics

EveryStudio’s campaign strategy was as follows:Connect with younger millennials and Gen Z’ers in their preferred channels and position Winnipeg Blue Bombers games as a fun and exciting experience for young people. Naturally, Snapchat was the ideal platform with their young demographic of users, of which 45% are between the ages of 18-24 (Snap Inc, 2018).

EveryStudio’s subsidiary company, Geofilter Studio, intimately understands the Snapchat platform and the demographics of its user base; Geofilter Studio has worked with over 75,000 Snapchat-specific clients during the past two years.

EveryStudio utilized three Snapchat advertising tools in an effort to reach different groups at different moments. This approach also enabled the Bombers to drive both awareness and conversions through the Snapchat platform. The following mediums were utilized by EveryStudio:

Video Snap Ads showcasing young fans and gameday action were created to promote the Blue Bombers’ Student Section. These ads were short in length, and included the Bombers’ logo to ensure brand awareness from all impressions. From the ad, users could swipe up to be directed to a unique in-app landing page with strong 
calls-to-action that drove ticket purchases. EveryStudio created highly specific target audiences using Snapchat’s demographics and interest categories to ensure that the ads were served to individuals that had the highest likelihood of converting.

Themed Geofilters, specific to each home game, were created, which allowed attendees to incorporate the Blue Bombers brand into the photos and videos they shared with their network. Geofilters were also an effective channel for the Blue Bombers’ sponsors to connect with both the in-game audience and those outside that received Snaps from fans.

2018 Addition: Snapchat World Lenses and Face Filters utilize augmented reality to deliver captivating experiences to users. World Lenses enable users to place animated 3D objects into their photos and videos, while Face Filters add another level of engagement and interactivity to selfies. The EveryStudio and Winnipeg Blue Bombers partnership resulted in the creation of the first World Lens for 
a professional sports team.

EveryStudio created two World Lenses for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the first of their kind for a professional sports team. The Bombers’ iconic mascots, Buzz and Boomer, were brought to life in AR, giving fans the ability to interact with these animated characters at the game, or in the comfort 
of their living room.

Taylor Loffler, a Blue Bombers Defensive back and CFL All Star, proudly wears a recognizable mullet and beard combination that has developed a strong fan following in the Winnipeg community. EveryStudio created a Loffler Face Filter that enables fans to superimpose his mullet and beard on their own faces while taking selfies, to provide fans with a humorous and shareable experience.

Snap Ad Metrics

The Blue Bombers ran Snap Ads during the 2017 and 2018 seasons to promote their student section season tickets. Snap Ad campaigns were timed to be active for a 
few days leading up to a number of important home games and have run for 
a total of twelve days thus far.

The Snap Ads have resulted in:

  • 335,337 impressions
  • 27,944 impressions/day
  • $2.20 cost per thousand 
impressions (CPM)
  • 29.6% of users reached the 75% quartile of the video, signifying a high percentage of engagement, given that Snap Ads are voluntary to watch.
  • $0.07 cost per 75% quartile view
  • 2,239 swipe ups (users who converted through the ad to the Blue Bombers website)
  • $0.33 cost per swipe up
Geofilter Performance

The Blue Bombers first began using Snapchat Geofilters in July of 2016 to promote brand awareness and allow users to interact with their brand. Eleven Geofilters have been created thus far, 
with hundreds of thousands of impressions over the course of two seasons.

Geofilter campaigns have generated:

  • 7,664 shares
  • 347,045 impressions
  • 33.84% average share rate. This means that 33.84% of people who swiped the filter across their screen, sent it to their friends or posted it to their story.
  • $0.48 CPM
Lens Metrics

New this season, was the addition of two highly interactive Snapchat World Lenses; Buzz and Boomer were brought to life through Augmented Reality, creating an immersive fan experience that was the first of its kind. World lenses are shared through unique Snapcodes that can be unlocked by people everywhere. These Snapcodes were strategically placed throughout the stadium on game days, inviting fans to scan, share and interact with Buzz and Boomer.

After two home games, the Lenses have driven the following metrics:

  • 1,991 Snapcode scans
  • 815 shares
  • 40.93% average share rate
  • 18,938 views

Conclusion

Snapchat is an extremely influential platform that gives brands the opportunity to reach new audiences and connect with a valuable demographic. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were able to effectively engage with the sought-after millennials and Gen Z’ers; Lenses, Snap Ads and Filters when used in combination, which drove fan engagement and brand awareness through the Snapchat platform.

If you're interested in how EveryStudio's services can drive value for your brand, please don't hesitate to reach out to one of our Account Managers at AR@every.studio.