As COVID-19 swept through and altered the world as we knew it in 2020, many of our most important communications shifted to virtual platforms. The public flocked to business video conferencing solutions to solve their work and personal needs, creating an unprecedented wave of video meetings and calls. Even productions utilized new technologies as people could not gather in-studio. While Microsoft Teams had been an important work collaboration tool, many consumers were just beginning to understand its capabilities, and there was an opportunity to help drive significant growth in awareness of its collaboration platform capabilities during this time of need.
A New Approach to Sunday Night Football
Pro football is a sport that ignites enormous passion, and Sunday Night Football has long been the #1 Primetime show on TV. The 2020 NFL season start took place with the challenge of COVID, and the fact the full 16-game schedule was played was a testament to the power of the NFL and its partners.
With the main campaign KPI of driving familiarity of Microsoft Teams, priming a broad audience on the knowledge of Teams as a streamlined, collaborative, and easy to use platform would be key to influence non-users to choose and recommend Teams to their peers over competitors.
Microsoft partnered with NBC Sports and created contextually relevant content that authentically built upon the equity of Microsoft’s NFL partnership and demonstrated why Microsoft Teams is the Official Collaboration Platform of the NFL.
The custom partnership creative featured NBC SNF and Philadelphia Eagles talent and aired within SNF for six consecutive weeks. Beyond linear, the content was distributed across digital within the NFL SNF live stream and NFL highlights across NBC Sports. The custom content was also amplified across @SNFonNBC Twitter, and promoted organically across the talents’ owned channels, as well as Microsoft and Eagles owned and operated digital and social channels.
The media partnership with NBC Sports’ Sunday Night Football captured the attention of NFL fans and positively impacted perception of the brand through collaboration storytelling.
Leveraging anchor and player talent made the partnership memorable, even outperforming linear norms and resulting in lifts in ad recall.
By aligning with the strongest performing of all the NFL broadcast properties, the partnership delivered reach at scale for everyone involved. It was a great partnership.