Customer Stories - Formula E
To keep Formula E racing fans interested and engaged with the Championship series postponed due to COVID-19.
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.
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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
"Thank you for your tremendous support this year, especially during the last few months as we pulled more rabbits from hats, fixture/season structure changes and unknowns than I think any of us has ever seen in sport. You helped us achieve a result that we are so immensely proud of, and have built a platform that can take us to heights that we thought impossible some 6 months ago. The WNBL is ready for lift-off! We broke the ECAL record for a season easily, and I can’t wait to see subscriber numbers jump again in 2021."Head of Digital Services @ Basketball Australia
"ECAL has proven to be a great channel for us at AVFC, benefitting sales and fan engagement more and more each season whilst providing data and insight for us to improve the fan experience as a whole. With the successful integrations of Women and Youth team schedules this season, we’re looking forward to what’s coming next!"Digital Marketing Executive @ Aston Villa FC
"The ECAL solution allows Formula E fans to sync their local race or the full season race calendar to their personal calendars. The platform ensures that fans can easily find out where to tune in and watch Formula E live in their territory and it also gives us the ability to deliver targeted messages to users, based on location and behaviour. The team at ECAL are a great bunch and are always at hand whether through their fantastic support team to day to day management of our account and sharing new ideas. I would have no hesitation in recommending them. "Senior Digital Project Manager @ Formula E
"ECAL has been a very effective tool for the England and Wales Cricket Board. Our audiences can download full competition schedules or individual team calendars for domestic competitions, as well as the England Men’s and Women’s fixtures. The events within the calendar provide information on where / when to tune-in to follow matches, and can also be used as a reminder for important ticket on-sale dates. The process to set-up was very straightforward and the support we receive has been great. We look forward to continuing to work with ECAL."Head of Marketing @ England and Wales Cricket Board
"We've engaged ECAL to deliver Fox Sports TV programming direct to our subscribers' calendar. It's a cool feature, and we believe our customers will really enjoy this service. They should never miss their favourite sports team again! We're also working with the team at ECAL to look at additional ways we can leverage the platform commercially."Head of Digital Delivery @ Fox Sports
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