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Product / ServiceTHE STAR SYDNEY
CategoryB10. Sponsorship & Partnerships
Idea Creation BASHFUL Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Idea Creation 2 KIND AGENCY Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Media Placement KIND AGENCY Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Production BASHFUL Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Production 2 KIND AGENCY Sydney, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Tim Chenery Bashful Creative Director
Jason Kempen Bashful Senior Copywriter
Dan Barrett Bashful Senior Copywriter
Dan Ieraci Bashful Senior Art Director
Guy Marshall Bashful Strategy Director
Alex King Bashful Account Director
Paul Kind Kind Agency CEO
Chris Leffers Kind Agency Account Director
Melinda Madigan The Star Sydney General Manager, Marketing & Entertainment
Todd Spry The Star Sydney Director, Brand & Customer Experience
Alex Honson The Star Sydney Brand Partnerships Manager
Garreth Wills Bashful Head of Digital Creative
Simon Bookallil Bashful CEO

The Campaign

The Blatchys Blues, Australia’s largest supporter group are famous for their iconic blue wig but it’s resonance and novelty factor had been waning for several years. If The Star were going to refresh and reenergize the Blatchys Blues as both a supporter group and a sponsorship opportunity they needed to revolutionise that which made the group famous, their blue wig! Introducing the world’s first SMARTWiG, powered by The Star


Introducing the SMARTWiG, powered by The Star. Under the hood of this familiar icon is a serious upgrade. It connects Blatchys to an exclusive radio station featuring six hours of SMARTWiG content hosted by Blues legends Fletch and Hindy. Our hosts talked with fans, experts, and even got into the NSW Blues' locker room to hear from the head coach just before kickoff! This show could only be heard through our SMARTWiG. And each wig was remotely controlled and fitted with a mysterious LED antenna. When the lights went down at the pre-game show, we sent out a signal that switched on LED lights in 12,000 SMARTWiG antennas, transforming the sellout crowd into a massive light up billboard for The Star.

We made 12,000 SMARTWiGs and sold them all. SMARTWiG generated 5.5 million dollars worth of free media, including features on national TV, national radio, the front page of Australia’s most popular national newspaper and dozens of press and online articles Australia wide. We delivered more than 3.5 million unique, media impressions with Australian’s watching the spectacle on live TV. And anyone at the game would be in no doubt that the SMARTWiG and The Star were major players on the night!

The Situation

SMARTWiG is an example of using a PR worthy idea to cut through the sponsorship clutter and achieve enormous engagement and reach on a relatively limited budget. State of Origin is like Australia’s Super Bowl, as such it is the most sponsored sports event in the country. The Star made themselves the most talked about brand on the night by sponsoring the fans and providing them with an experience that elevated their Origin experience to the next level. SMARTWiG provided fans with six hours of exclusive radio content and lit up the entire stadium with a LED light show.

The Strategy

Making the star the most talked about sponsor on Origin night was never going to be easy. First; The Star had been given the Blatchys Blues, Australia’s largest supporter group. While this was quite an honour, they felt a little removed from the main event, the game itself. Second; the Blatchys Blues were in decline with several years of negative attendance growth. They had been a grassroots movement made famous by the original blue wigs but the novelty was wearing off. Third; The Star were looking to brand a grassroots supporter group, a fraught exercise. It had to be done in a way that added true value and felt authentic to the customs of the tribe. Our guiding strategic principle: breathe new life into a tiring property by transforming the game viewing experience in an authentic, branded way. Or; how could we make watching Origin even more awesome?


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