'CHAMPION' - THE 2019 FIBA BASKETBALL WORLD CUP SONG BY JASON DERULO & TIA RAY

Title'CHAMPION' - THE 2019 FIBA BASKETBALL WORLD CUP SONG BY JASON DERULO & TIA RAY
BrandFIBA
Product / ServiceBASKETBALL WORLD CUP
CategoryA11. Excellence in Brand / Music Sponsorship or Partnership
EntrantWARNER MUSIC ASIA Hong Kong, HONG KONG SAR
Idea Creation WARNER MUSIC ASIA Hong Kong, HONG KONG SAR
Idea Creation 2 FéDéRATION INTERNATIONALE DE BASKETBALL FIBA Mies, SWITZERLAND
Media Placement WARNER MUSIC ASIA Hong Kong, HONG KONG SAR
Media Placement 2 FéDéRATION INTERNATIONALE DE BASKETBALL FIBA Mies, SWITZERLAND
PR WARNER MUSIC ASIA Hong Kong, HONG KONG SAR
PR 2 FéDéRATION INTERNATIONALE DE BASKETBALL FIBA Mies, SWITZERLAND
Production WARNER MUSIC ASIA Hong Kong, HONG KONG SAR
Production 2 FéDéRATION INTERNATIONALE DE BASKETBALL FIBA Mies, SWITZERLAND

Credits

Name Company Position
Becky Yeung Warner Music Asia Regional Head of Partnerships
Frank Leenders FIBA Director General
Sean Nicholls FIBA/ Link Marketing and Management International Head of Planning/CEO
Brayden Crossley Warner Music Asia SVP Marketing, Greater China & SEA
Jonathan Heeter Warner Music China Head of International marketing China
Jiaxin Huang Warner Music China Senior Manager International Marketing
Shin Cho Warner Music Asia International Marketing Manager

Why is this work relevant for for Music?

For the first time since being established in 1950, the world governing body for basketball decided to host 2019 Basketball World Cup in China. To mark this milestone event, they decided to embark on another first by bringing music into the mix. Unlike many other major sporting events, basketball had never focused on incorporating music artists or official anthems before. 2019 was different. They decided to embrace music and partnered with Warner Music to identify the right artist for a live performance at the World Cup Draw, followed by creating an original song, serving as the official World Cup anthem.

Background

Even though basketball is the second biggest sport globally, and most popular sport in China, most people still view it as a Western, or even American sport. It was therefore a significant milestone opting to host the World Cup in China for the first time in history. The objective was to mark this milestone by adding a new dimension of appeal, with a desire to elevate the game and unite the wider community. Music felt like a natural passion point to bring the basketball community closer together. The brief was then how to incorporate music in an authentic way and ensure there was appeal both in the East and West. To ensure FIBA identified the right artists, they enlisted the help of Warner, who was tasked with engaging one artist with global appeal, and one Chinese artist with significant reach in China to create an official anthem.

Describe the creative idea

To bring music and basketball together, Warner and FIBA worked closely together to stagger the music element over a 5month period in the lead up to the world cup and creating spikes of activity. For Warner Music, they focused on identifying a global superstar with genuine passion for basketball, to allow for authentic content to be created. For FIBA, they integrated the music element within their 2 year long, #Worldgotgame campaign. The first reveal was Derulo’s high-energy performance, interviews, and meet and greet with Kobe Bryant at the World Cup Draw. Accompanied by social posts pre, during and after the Draw. This paved the way for the reveal of a new song collaboration between Derulo and China’s soul queen Tia Ray, released a few months later. Warner took the lead on the marketing of the song, whilst FIBA amplified through sports media, basketball stars and influencers.

Describe the strategy

The strategic approach to artist selection and execution was key. To make sure these factors were right, we prioritised REACH and AUTHENTICITY, by selecting artists who matched vocally to make a catchy anthem, had scale to attract attention from basketball and music fans alike & entrusted marketing of the song to Warner, making it appear like a normal track release vs commercial brand song. Jason Derulo was identified due to his global appeal & most importantly, genuine passion for watching & playing basketball. Tia Ray not only had scale in China, but international appeal. A male/female collaboration also helped broaden appeal to both sexes. To make the song appeal in East and West, we created a bi-lingual song, with Derulo even singing Mandarin for parts. The song was released by Warner as a normal track to maximise DSP support, whilst FIBA amplified with support from basketball stars & sports media.

Describe the execution

To integrate music with Basketball World Cup, it was executed in multiple phase: 1.KICK OFF. FIBA heavily promoted the World Cup Draw in Shenzhen, March 16th. The Draw was promoted globally online, on radio, and through billboards featuring Kobe Bryant and Jason Derulo, placed at high footfall locations across the host city. On the night, Derulo performed 7songs, broadcast globally. 2.DEVELOPMENT. Derulo & Tia Ray created a new uplifting anthem, whilst Warner Music developed a marketing plan to launch the song. 3.SONG RELEASE. Warner launched ‘Champion’ 24th July, 5weeks before the World Cup games. Warner rallied support from DSPs, whilst FIBA from basketball players to promote the song. 4.MARKETING PLAN. Jointly rolled out, comprising of 3 key phases. 1.Launch with social assets shared by artists and basketball stars driving people to stream the song. 2.Promo video bringing the artists and basketball closer together. 3.A competition element to engage fans.

Describe the outcome

The partnership had positive impact for all parties, cross-reaching new audiences across sports and music fans globally. The Draw was 70% sold out 1st day of ticket sales. FIBA executives described the event as 'best event in FIBA history'. Over 100global TV and online channels broadcast the Draw, attracting cumulative views of 18mil+ on TV alone. Derulo’s China presence saw positive spikes. 1214.4%growth, 733,813impressions on Weibo within 1.5 weeks, 12% growth of streams on NetEase, 6%on Apple Music. Tia’s exposure outside of china grew, attracting new fan engagement from Derulo and basketball fans. Spotify following +6.7%,+77.5%jump score on socials. The song has been streamed in 55countries, 1mil+ engagement with it on socials, appeared in hundreds of playlistings globally & received 50exposure spots in China across 5 major DSP platforms. Basketball stars including Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki & basketball influencers shared the song organically via socials, with cumulative reach of 16mil+.

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