Case Studies, Sports

Customer Stories - Formula E

Challenge

To keep Formula E racing fans interested and engaged with the Championship series postponed due to COVID-19.

Solution

The ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge was created – a nine-week eSports competition that saw the world’s greatest Formula E drivers mix it with the best simulator drivers and influencers.

1. Introduction

The sporting world has come to a complete stop due to the COVID-19 global crisis. With no end in sight, live sports organisations are forced to rethink how they can keep fans engaged with digital content.

With only five races completed for the season in the ABB Formula E Championship, organisers were forced to place the remainder of the season on-hold.

Faced with the need to engage their fans, and with a desire to make a difference, the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge came to life – in a fundraising partnership with UNICEF. This nine-week eSports competition sees the world’s greatest Formula E drivers mix it with some of the world’s fastest simulator drivers and influencers.

Drivers compete using rFactor 2 simulator software in a number of online events each week, with the main race weekly on Saturday, all from the safety of their own homes. It was a significant challenge to source and supply drivers in all parts of the world with their simulator set-up.

The Formula E Race at Home Challenge is available to view globally on Formula E’s YouTube channel, Facebook Page, Facebook gaming site, Twitch and via @FiaFormulaE on Twitter.

“Special thanks to you for the initial suggestion to put this together and helping us drive this initiative forward in the first place – it’s been a huge part of our launch today”
– Emily Hirth, Digital Product Manager

2. Objectives

  • Drive tune-in via the ‘Ways to watch’ page
  • Drive awareness and participation in donations
  • Deliver fast, responsive updates to calendar, incl. last-minute grid changes, qualification etc.

3. Strategy

The strategy balanced on informing the existing Formula E fan base, with the desire to appeal and attract a new ‘gamer’ audience and general sports enthusiasts to the sport. This would involve adding Race at Home Challenge events to existing user calendars, adding a new schedule to the existing button display, and creating new displays for dedicated promotion of the series.

4. Solution

Formula E promoted the digital calendar service in conjunction with the official media release, and alongside promotional initiatives via email, social media, banner displays on the Formula E website, and via their partner network.
The events data was connected via API, with the Formula E team able to easily update content as they need via a connected online form.

Fans receive race event notifications at key times, with standout emojis, including the day before, an hour prior and an alert 5 minutes before the start of the race, to drive tune-in. Each entry details the race conditions, grid positions and with direct access to the ‘Where to Watch’ page, to the various live stream options, and donation pages.

5. Outcomes

Engagement exceeded expectations, with the first round of the “Race at Home” series recording a 12-month high for online fan engagement. There was a high degree of tune-in from existing fans, and an influx of new fans subscribing to Formula E events for the first time. Click through rate exceeded 3% on and around the virtual racedays, with 76% of all clicks shared between “Ways to Watch” and “Donate”.

With a deeper understanding of consumer preferences, and location, Formula E have been able to implement ‘follow on’ marketing campaigns to select audience segments. These initiatives included the launch of a new car design in popular eSports game Asphalt 8, and the “And We Go Green!” movie premier.

Testimonials

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