Created in 2012, EE is UK’s youngest mobile network operator. Since its creation and with a brand promise focused on 4G speed, EE has managed to overtake more traditional competitors like Vodafone (est 2003) and Three (est 2006) to become no.2 in preference among younger, data-hungry UK customers.
But by 2016 EE was still trailing behind O2, the long time category incumbent.
EE's ambition was to become the preferred operator for your, 4G-hungry Brits. We needed to beat O2 and become the stated first choice for these high-potential consumers.
In 2015, EE had run a successful YouTube-focused web series pitching FIFA playing YouTubers against one other in a real life football game. We knew we had fertile ground with sport-loving UK consumers who enjoyed their sport on the go.
But in 2016, the face of UK sports was changing: e-sport (online games played on YouTube for an audience) was growing so fast it could no longer be ignored. Media outlets were taking notice when major football teams started hiring YouTubers as spokespeople and FIFA live tournaments played before audiences that dwarfed Premier League flagship games.
We decided to front that trend and bring traditional football and e-sport audiences together to watch the biggest live football match between top YouTubers and some of UK’s pro-football legends.
The Wembley Cup 2016 chronicled the journey to that match in an 8-episode web series culminating in the live match, played on Wembley Stadium and streamed live on YouTube.
Watch the 8 episodes of the web series here.
For a long time, e-Sport and YouTube gaming influencers had remained in the shadows of the mainstream sporting world. While they commanded huge audiences, brands reached out to them as niche interests. Theirs was an underworld of fandom and unrecognized glory.
With the Wembley Cup, we brought this community to the mainstream. For the first time, e-sport celebrities were sharing the stage with the football legends of the National Football Association. The Wembley Cup bridged generations, digital and analogue, football and e-sport in one epic sporting event attended by tens of thousands.
With our influencers, we gave a wide community of e-sport fans a chance to connect with their stars on the most glamorous of stages: UK’s home of football. Through our football legends, we elevated the initiative to appeal to a wide portion of the UK public.