Tag Archives: Football

Will Snapchat kill TV sports coverage?


This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from Ciaran Mulvihill from PRISM’s London office.  

Snapchat, the once quirky app for pulling funny faces, is now a Goliath in real-time consumer interaction. Its rise has been driven by 18-35-year-olds and much of that by their use of it at sporting events. I know, because I am one. And please don’t use the M word. You know the one I’m talking about.

Snapchat, though, has recently levelled-up its sports offering, to answer the prayers of a frustrated football fan like me.

Subscription is a right turn off

When Premier League football lived on SKY and terrestrial TV, it was bliss. My parents had SKY for the big Super Sunday clashes, and terrestrial for regular matches and cup games.

But hang on there, Captain Kirk, then came a new signing by the name of BT Sport, with a shiny deal for 42 games, and that caused a problem as big as Stoke on a Tuesday night. Just trying to work out what channel a game is on has now become an arduous, weekly task.


I don’t use subscription services for SKY or BT Sport so I can’t get games there. The parents have ditched SKY (not worth the money), so now I rely on the limited coverage available on terrestrial. But even trying to catch Match of the Day for highlights, the BBC’s seminal football show, just to keep up with the action is similarly troublesome. If I don’t see it live on Saturday or Sunday, my chances are gone. Match highlights aren’t on BBC iPlayer, either, so when I walk into work on a Monday, I have to fake-pretend like I saw that ‘amazing goal’ from Sanchez just to keep my footballing dignity.

Snapchat – cooking with gas

Where does this leave me? Well, I’ve recently turned to Snapchat for the answer. Snapchat provides featured channel space to media owners like SKY, and SKY is running with it. I can check the SKY space for pre-game build-up articles and team news, and then get all the highlights from the weekend’s games on the Snapchat app whenever I want to watch them.


So, what does this show? We 18-35-year-olds are a generation seeking sports coverage and content on our own terms. No wonder Netflix and Amazon Prime are booming. But will sport follow? It will be interesting to see whether the Premier League embraces these new viewing trends with its partners.

Maybe other rights-holders will follow the model adopted recently by the NFL, which broadcasts big games, but also livestreams a number of matches on Twitter.

Man United vs Man City livestreamed on Snapchat, anyone? I’d definitely give it a watch. It would be free, after all.

Ciaran Mulvihill


If you’d like to contribute a post to PRISM’s social channels, email ntaylor@prismteam.com 


PRISM LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1kdjyrg
PRISM Twitter: https://twitter.com/PRISM_Worldwide
PRISM Instagram: http://instagram.com/prism_team


Content[ed.]: January’s Best Branded Content


Content[ed.]: a monthly overview of some of the latest and greatest in content creation. We applaud the benchmark breakers, berate the boring and confer over the opinion splitters, all in good heart and sometimes with a bit humour.


We’re fortunate to be in an industry where creativity has to be at the core of everything we do. And the rapid proliferation of content and digital platforms for entertainment and discovery means there is no end to the amount of information and inspiration that brands are providing for us.

This month there have been many notable pieces: FKA Twigs and Nike left us believing in more; Samsung showed us how crazy gyms are; Apple took a stroll in the much-talked-about ‘AirPods’. There’s also been an abundance of great content in the sportswear market. Nike, Puma, Under Armour, New Balance, Reebok – all well-known brands making great work in an effort to out-do each other. However, our pick has to be a brand that has really hit the year running – Adidas.


‘One in a Billion’ was right on the money. Superb cinematography, a dig at rivals Under Armour and a Beckham cameo. It’s a great example of how a strong piece of insight on stereotypes of China can be brought to life through content. Adidas is glorifying originality in everything it creates as we’ve seen in the ‘Sport Needs Creators’ and ‘Never Follow’ ads. This latest spot complements this message and celebrates individuality in China. A strong strategy and content to match.


This piece for Originals – Adidas’ most iconic sub-brand – is beautifully bold and rebellious, relentlessly pushing the message that ‘original is never finished’. They’ve avoided using superstars and gone for a more natural message of everyday suburban creativity, Adidas revisits its ‘Originals’ truth that real creativity is everywhere, is collaborative, and is continually evolving. That feeling certainly comes across in the raw and candid style of this film. The detail here is incredible and the song choice inspired, reinvented for a new generation as an anthemic call to action. The production is meticulously planned, but still carries that unpolished, incomplete, gritty feel.


Not actually a piece of work by Adidas this one, as it was made by a German advertising student, but it picked up a lot of views earlier this month. Hats off to the chap because it’s a class piece of content about an ageing marathon runner who is determined to break out of his retirement home. It’s an emotional account that’s left many cheering and some crying. It had such an effect that the Huffington Post and other media urged Adidas to run it. Unfortunately, those calls were ignored. Although the brand was reluctant to back the student ad, we think the message gels with the Adidas’s overall philosophy of inspiring creativity. Not only is the sportswear-maker inspiring athletes to be creators, it seems like they’re inspiring those outside the athletic community, too.

Written by: Oliver Salman & Simon Hanley


Could wearable tech be the key to Big Sam’s success?

After the familiar tournament disappointment for English football, Sam Allardyce has been appointed as the new England manager. He inherits a squad of energetic young talent along with a bemusing legacy of slender spines when tournament pressure mounts. Talk about a ‘lack of passion’ is cheap, but if the ‘heart and soul’ conundrum really is the problem, how can it be rectified? Could wearable technology’s biometric data of both mental and physical performance one day help Big Sam select an England team who are truly ‘up for it’ and end 50 years of hurt?

Blog 1

The answer, in the not-so-distant future, could be ‘Earables’ or hearables, as they are also known. While we are familiar with wrist-worn trackers like Fitbit and Jawbone, the earables lineage has already begun. We need look no further than Bragi’s ‘Dash, Doppler Labs, Moto Hint or Sony’s Xperia Ear to understand the variety of in-ear services being developed. Google, Apple and Microsoft are all developing earables too – a strong sign this highly competitive space is no passing fad. Sport performance earables are a very real prospect and their data is an evolving opportunity to fashion a competitive edge.

The NFL has already set a sports precedent in hi-tech player tracking. Since 2015 all 1,696 players have had RFID chips fitted to their helmets capable of sending back stats in real time on position, pace, distance travelled and acceleration. That’s great for sports technicians but it’s also rich entertainment data for the TV networks. Of course, neither NFL helmets nor wearable trackers in their current wrist form are suitable for football (soccer) players, but the data-benefit opportunity is clear.

Allardyce is no stranger to the power of data. He is a details man, always seeking a competitive edge to gain advantage. His use of technical data and player performance statistics has been documented through his use of PROZONE while manager at Bolton, contributing to the club’s successful entry into European football. Could earables become a credible option without the backing of major leagues and football institutions? Not in five years, but certainly within 10 the argument could be overwhelmingly persuasive and as obvious as goal-line technology is today.

Performance tracking through earables presents three key benefits:

  1. Ease of acceptance
  2. Rich, reliable data
  3. Mass market appeal


  1. Acceptance

Humans have been used to having earbuds or earphones since the 1980s with the arrival of personal stereos. With today’s smartphones, with music and movie access on the go, our in-ear habits are ubiquitous. Technology has advanced significantly over the last few years not only to miniaturise the in-ear technology, but also to make it fit comfortably and safely. This will continue to a point where the device is no larger than the size of a garden pea, and externally inconspicuous. Companies like United Sciences, specialising in hand-held 3D scanning, will soon ensure that obtaining perfect, secure in-ear fit is as commonplace as getting our feet measured for shoes, and that is essential for permitted use in aggressive contact sports like football.Blog 2

2. Rich reliable data

Compared to the wrist, the inner ear is actually a far more reliable and data rich location on the human body to measure biometric performance.

Bragi’s Dash, with its 23 embedded sensors, tracks speed, time, distance and cadence, and vital body performance information including heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and pulse. Bragi (and its competitors no doubt) are developing a future version that measures electrocardiography and brain waves in the form of electro-encephalogram signals (EEGs).

Blog 3

This area is especially potent in understanding the correlation of biomechanical data, brain patterns and actual performance under stress. Sports coaches will know from the data if a player is suffering from the pressure of the occasion. Confidence, concentration and commitment are all vital psychological conduits to optimum performance in competitive matches and maximising the talent of players in the way we’d expect.

In the European Championship both Wales and Iceland demonstrated how a collective positive psychology combined with a mix of talent can overcome supposedly superior teams like England. Imagine if England’s technical team could compare the biometric and EEG data of England and Wales throughout the tournament, identifying which players could rise to the occasion rather than wilt.

3. Mass Market Appeal

With 76.4% of baby boomers moving into their 50s, 60s and 70s, earables will be at a confluence of smart technology and the needs of an aging population. Augmenting the need for an inconspicuous hearing device, smart connectivity and the benefits of a real-time geo-locating health tracking device, monitoring personal health and alerting emergency services in the event of a health incident will place this form of wearable tech into the mainstream over the next 10 years.


The Sports Evolution

The world of sport, not just football, is in transition. It’s time for disruption and a clean sheet. Institutions must regain trust and show a more accountable, progressive architecture that places sport and its interests and development back in the realm of the fans and competitors. It has taken an age for the introduction of goal-line technology but perhaps the future will see the game embrace technology more emphatically for the good of sports evolution.

Blog 4

So, within a decade we might imagine safely fitting, highly sensitive earables as regular a part of competitive sport as the action replay. Sport scientists will correlate the playing behaviour of supposedly motivated players against a recognised data set of biological statistics. Heartrate, oxygen conversion, adrenalin, reactive speed, energy conversion are all chemical processes that indicate a player is firing on all cylinders or not – translating to confidence, concentration and commitment.

The pre-match press conferences that hype England’s preparedness of spirit, sharpness and focus, packaged into media friendly ‘up for it’ language, may actually be backed up by hard data – from the training pitch and the stadium performances.

Following the precedent of the NFL, TV broadcast networks might pay a handsome figure to make such rich performance data public. And while that’s another debate entirely, whether analysed by the team manager or national media, a player will have nowhere to hide. It might even see the eradication of performance-enhancing drug abuse.

If technology were to provide a chance to change England’s fortunes, Big Sam would be ‘all ears’. And we’d know if he was up for it – we’d have all the data we need to prove it.

Blog 5

Simon Woollard
Global Creative Director at PRISM

PRISM Website: http://www.prismteam.com/
PRISM LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1kdjyrg
PRISM Twitter: https://twitter.com/PRISM_Worldwide
PRISM Instagram: http://instagram.com/prism_team
PRISM YouTube: https://youtube.com/PRISMTeamTV


2014: What a year!

With the haze of Christmas excesses subsiding, now is a great time to think back to everything the PRISM team achieved around the world in 2014. What a year it was!

We will remember 2014 for some great sporting events, especially the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.  We were proud to bring to life Regaine’s World Cup sponsorship with an award-nominated activation in the UK.

regaine3 (1)

2014 also marked the end of an era for Ford’s 22-year partnership with the UEFA Champion’s League which PRISM has activated from the very beginning. The Lisbon final was a proud moment helping launch the iconic Ford Mustang into Europe. It was a culmination for our football crazy activation team that was in action across Europe throughout the season providing Ford and their customers an unforgettable journey.


Our Football business grew throughout the year as we began working with SUBWAY and their official partnership with Liverpool Football Club. Expect some fun things in 2015 from that.

Our Amsterdam team was busy not only helping Dutch insurance company Delta Lloyd Group ramp up its association with sailing, but also hosting another successful Heineken House at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Earlier in the year PRISM’s Olympic Games heritage was further boosted by assisting Bridgestone to secure a deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through to the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Delta Lloyd Regatta 2013 © Sander van der Borch

Our award winning work in Formula One continued around the globe at all the F1 races for clients as varied as Dell Caterham and Infiniti Red Bull Racing.  This great work culminated in a “”November to Remember” when our teams created and executed high profile activations in Austin and Dubai for Infiniti.

Red Bull Infiniti F1 Showcase

Our Global Content Network continues to set the industry standards for storytelling and story selling and this year played a leading role in a global product launch for Nissan with amazing events in Thailand.

I hope you will enjoy our 2014 highlight reel which is on our new for 2015 web-site.


But now the immortal words of Liverpool FC legend Steven Gerrard ring true: ‘We go again!’

With some fantastic new clients already on board, we’re fired up to make the PRISM 2015 highlight reel even more action-packed.

Until then, from me and the entire PRISM team, we hope you have a successful year too!

Steve Madincea
Founder & Group Managing Director at PRISM

PRISM Website: http://www.prismteam.com/
PRISM LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1kdjyrg
PRISM Twitter: https://twitter.com/PRISM_Worldwide
PRISM Instagram: http://instagram.com/prism_team
PRISM YouTube: https://youtube.com/PRISMTeamTV

Brazil 2014 – The Most Digital, Social and Ambushed World Cup Ever

You saw it, I saw it and based upon the statistics coming out of the social stratosphere, almost everyone on the planet saw it. Staff at the FIFA HQ are no doubt patting themselves on the back for having a digital World Cup like no other. The now famous #BRA vs #GER semi-final which resulted in a 7-1 loss for the host nation, received 35.6 million tweets in the duration of the match. This set a new Twitter record, easily surpassing the 30 million tweets recorded during January’s Super Bowl. According to Twitter Data the final itself received 32.1 million tweets, peaking at nearly 619,000 tweets per minute.

Facebook reports that 88 million global users made a record 280 million interactions, including posts, likes, and comments, during the World Cup final. This easily broke the previous record held of 245 million interactions, set by the Super Bowl in 2013. Facebook also said that the top five countries participating in the global buzz were, in order, US, Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Indonesia. When you have more tweets than any other sporting event ever, more digital activation than any other sporting event ever and one official media outlet creating ways to stream games faster than any other, you can’t consider this anything but a success for FIFA.

Or can you?

What about all the ambush marketing? From KFC’s TV campaign featuring a football inspired Brazilian family to every local pub having some sort of Brazil World Cup artwork on its premises. It was everywhere and from travelling throughout Asia, Europe and N. America over the last month, I mean everywhere. That’s great for sport but what about protecting the sponsors that paid dearly to be officially involved with the competition? I think the advent of Twitter, Pinterest, Vine and Instagram has cut loose a new form of ambush marketing – #DigitalAmbush. It’s easy, it’s fast, it’s engaging and you don’t need to be an official partner to get involved.

Look at the battle between Nike and Adidas at the World Cup. While Adidas was rightfully proud to have both teams in the final (and the Brazuca ball, I might add), Nike didn’t sit still. They had ambassador LeBron James in attendance and, of course, very socially active from his seat in the stadium. Maybe not the same exposure as being on the pitch with Messi and company but nowhere near the cost either. Despite Nike having a strong presence,even in a non-official capacity, Adobe analysts state that Adidas overall achieved 71% more tournament-related social media buzz.

As leaders in the digital sports revolution, all of us at PRISM are continually educating our clients on what they can and cannot do in the sports social/digital sphere. All the rules are yet to be defined and as this social playground remains distinctly open, the question is who will break the next boundaries in this revolution?


Steve Madincea
Founder & Group Managing Director at PRISM

PRISM LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1kdjyrg
PRISM Twitter: https://twitter.com/PRISM_Worldwide
PRISM Instagram: http://instagram.com/prism_team
PRISM YouTube: https://youtube.com/PRISMTeamTV




The FIFA World Cup is in full flow in Brazil. Which players are commercially the most attractive for sponsors? Who has the most deals? We have researched the players and compiled the most commercially successful 2014 World Cup team.

The absence of Zlatan is painful for Nike and Volvo because he is not at the World Cup. He is paid a princely €14 million net from his club Paris St. Germain and pulls in another €6 million from personal deals but alas Sweden lost in the play-offs against Portugal and was not in the 32 team line-up at the World Cup in Brazil.

Fellow super star Ronaldo who earns €17.7 million salary per year and €19 million from personal deals made it through to the group stages in Brazil. Sadly he is already on his way home.

On the basis of research and information from the WPP network, player’s agents and football publications, we have analysed all the income from players participating in Brazil. Using this data a team has been assembled and not on the basis of football trophies or on pitch performances.

Beckham changed the world

David Beckham signalled the onset of a new era in 1997 when he signed a deal with hair styling brand Brylcreem. Prior to this period footballers were general associated with sport brands and typical male products with the occasional foray into a commercial which could only be considered as a bit of comedy or slap stick entertainment. Thanks to Beckham the perceptions of international footballers began to change and more brands considered them as ambassadors for their products and services. From Breitling watches to H&M clothing, football was no longer a dirty word. The media reach increased exponentially and it was no longer footballer’s boots or cars that were being promoted. Not every category or brand is convinced about the added value of using footballers in their marketing activities. But in recent years the globalisation and commercialization of football has resulted in significant growth for players as brand ambassadors.

Sporting performances are important but the total package makes the difference

Naturally there is a link between the technical performance of a player and his commercial opportunities with brands. But commercially successful players such as Vinnie Jones, Carlos Valderrama and even David Beckham were not the most gifted players of their generation. They were more dependent upon their charisma and behaviour. A good example is the South Korean Ahn Jung-hwan who scored the winning goal at World Cup 2002 that eliminated the Italians. An average player but that goal elevated Ahn to superstar status in Asia with many brands wanting to be associated with his new found cult hero status. It is clearly the total package that is important with football as one of the elements but certainly not the only element that makes a player commercially attractive.

Most noticeable trends

Brands rarely exploit the unique characteristics of a player. They take the well known path; famous player loves my product. It is left to the execution of the idea to create the impact, not the idea itself. An exception is Volvo and Nike where they have created something that is really influenced by Zlatan himself. Sadly Zlatan is not at the World Cup. More attacking players, less defenders. Football revolves around goals, spectacular goals. Everyone remembers the goal by Dennis Bergkamp against the Argentinians at World Cup 1998 in France. In 2014 he is one of the central figures in the Heineken commercial to activate their World Cup 2014 campaign. Which performance is often recalled by a defender? Very few, if any.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are the main suppliers. Real Madrid has followed a clear policy in recent years to attract and secure super stars. For players such as Ronaldo, Zidane and Figo there is one word: Galacticos. Barcelona is more football focussed. But players at these football clubs with millions of fans all over the world simply make them commercially more attractive.

Harold Zwarts
Creative Strategy Director, Trefpunt-PRISM Amsterdam

PRISM LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1kdjyrg
PRISM Twitter: https://twitter.com/PRISM_Worldwide
PRISM Instagram: http://instagram.com/prism_team
PRISM YouTube: https://youtube.com/PRISMTeamTV


As the knock-out stages of the World Cup got under way this weekend it didn’t take long for those 12 yards to make their mark. Love them or fear them (I’m English so my feelings fall nearer the later!) penalty shoot-outs add an incredible layer of excitement, tension and definitiveness to football and major tournaments. Of course on Saturday night poster boy for Brazil 2014, Neymar, was able to handle the pressure and score the winning penalty to keep the Brazil dream alive. But what if he’d missed and Chile had gone on to win? Nobody knows but the only thing we can be sure of is that millions of people around the globe, most with no allegiance to any of the teams involved in shoot-outs so far, were encapsulated and felt the passion and drama.

It was this emotive connection to penalties and the World Cup that helped us here at PRISM inform our activation strategy for our client Regaine. Utilising global FIFA World Cup rights, via parent company Johnson & Johnson, we’ve just finished a 9-day experiential activation campaign targeting London commuters. The Regaine FIFA World Cup penalty shoot-out’s aligned the brand’s positioning of the importance of knowing the facts around hair loss with football by challenging our target audience to answer 3 FIFA World Cup fact or fiction questions and then score 3 penalties to win official FIFA merchandise. Easy you would think, but add in the pressure of a station full of commuters and suddenly the tension and drama hit. We were delighted to see over 3,000 people take part in the challenge; and for our activation, the success in taking seemingly intangible global FIFA World Cup rights and helping translate them for Regaine into meaningful consumer engagements using football and the power of those 12 yards!

Matt Riches
Account Director, PRISM London

PRISM LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1kdjyrg
PRISM Twitter: https://twitter.com/PRISM_Worldwide
PRISM Instagram: http://instagram.com/prism_team
PRISM YouTube: https://youtube.com/PRISMTeamTV