The partnership in summary
A first of its kind partnership in world football. Humanoid robots meet EPL football through this unique global partnership between UBTECH and Manchester City.
UBTECH’s primary objectives were to elevate global brand awareness, position the brand as truly international, fun but with serious robotics at its heart and to educate children, parents of young children and tech savvy young adults as to the product features with a view to ultimately generating propensity to purchase.
2016/17 was the first season of the partnership and through creative, fun and fan centric activation, this partnership has exceeded expectations achieving over 27% brand recognition amongst City’s fanbase and some impressive media and reach stats (see original submission).
Whilst there is undeniable value in ‘staple’ assets such as LED, digital exposure and football clinics etc, this partnership was built around fan engagement and is testament to how much value can be extracted from a strategic partnership by adopting a creative approach and a big imagination!
Some of the most consumed content by City’s Asian fanbase is around transfers and UBTECH were launching a new model (Alpha 2) just after the transfer window. As a result, a content piece announcing a City’s latest transfer - Alpha 2 was created. Using club ambassador Mike Summerbee, the piece saw Alpha 2 follow the same journey a player would during a club signing.
In an effort to provide City’s Asian fanbase with unique insight into the City matchday experience, UBTECH created a content piece which saw 2 robots on a ‘Big Day Out’ depicting fans and taking the journey an average Manchester based fan goes on week in, week out at The Etihad.
For fans worldwide, getting closer to star players and seeing authentic character and personality is of the utmost importance. UBTECH therefore used time with the players to create a series of robot related challenges and competitions to bring out the players’ natural competitive spirit whilst showcasing the produce, its features and the fun nature of the brand.
For more content examples, please see the links provided in the original submission.
In stadia activation
UBTECH & City have been committed to integrating the partner brand at all touch points of the match day experience ensuring maximum fan engagement both in person and for Asia based fans via social content.
Robots performed in hospitality suites for guests, they greeted players off the team bus on the ‘blue carpet, they danced on the pitch at half time, they competed with fans on stage in City’s fan zone (City Square), they were even spotted on the subs bench at half time.
This activity has then been extended to include similar activations in Asian markets at live screening events to ensure local fans do not miss out on the action. A ‘Robocup’ tournament for kids and integration into City’s family days rounded off an ambitious and impactful partner integration campaign.
Together using football & robots(!) as a force for good. City & UBTECH distributed hundreds of robots to children across a selection of children’s hospitals at Christmas time. Some lucky children in Manchester were lucky enough to have them delivered by a player. Robots have also been distributed to children participating in various City in the Community programs around the world.
Competitions and incentives
Competitions have been run via social media for City’s fanbase across the globe providing UBTECH robots as prizes. In addition, City have used UBTECH’s robots for match day prizes in fan zones, internal staff incentives, thank you gifts to suppliers and partners to name a few.