Case Study: The AFF Suzuki Cup's campaign a hit with football fans

Last year, the AFF Suzuki Cup captured football fans’ attention with FOX Sports’ broadcast of the tournament that spanned from 20 November to 20 December with a huge social media push.

Extending its reach beyond the traditional pool of football fans, FOX Sports creative team collaborated with social media agency, We Are Social, for complete social media integration. Influencers in the form of satire site, SGAG and stand-up comedian, Harith Iskander, were engaged to help FOX Sports in a creative bid to engage with a younger, social-media savvy audience to show their support for their country’s football team.

The campaign explored the core idea of “Rivalry” and was targeted at football fans aged between 18 and 35 years old. It ran primarily in Singapore and Malaysia, with the secondary markets being Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

In Malaysia, 4.9 million viewers reportedly watched the broadcast of the tournament on FOX Sports and FOX Sports 3, of which 3.8 million (or 79%) watched the matches live. According to Fox, the numbers represent a 93% surge in audience reach compared to the last edition in 2012, which was viewed by 2.5 million viewers. FOX Sports also said it came in as the top-rated sports channel in Malaysia in the final two weeks of the tournament.

"AFF Suzuki Cup’s impressive performance was a result of an integrated marketing campaign, comprising TV, print and social media elements, all centred around the theme of 'Rivalry', to galvanise football fans in supporting their national football teams, and an aggressive programming strategy," said the company in a press statement.

FOX Sports also invested in two fully-produced studio shows, one in English and the other in Bahasa Malaysia, with enhanced match analysis for all matches.

Rohit D’Silva, senior vice-president (Sports), Asia-Pacific and Middle East said, “We’re pleased that fans in Malaysia have enjoyed FOX Sports’ broadcast of the AFF Suzuki Cup and we will build on the success of this event and continually improve on future events.”

Meanwhile, the twitter handle @FoxSportsAsia was also trending throughout the tournament.