Case study: Telenet and KV Mechelen
Telenet is one of Belgium’s leading suppliers of Telecommunications services. In 2006, VAAV negotiated the company’s sponsorship of KV Mechelen Football Club, which neighbours the Telenet Head Office in Mechelen. The club is one of the best known in Belgium and had recently been promoted back to the First Division. However, after one year of sponsorship, a survey carried out by VAAV showed that awareness of Telenet amongst the fans was low.
Working with the club, VAAV Communication analysed the club supporter base and found that Mechelen had a very high percentage of female supporters. This combined with Telenet’s desire to create a more sympathetic, fun image led to the creation of the “Telenet Malinwa Couple of the Year” competition. Malinwa is the name given to loyal KV Mechelen supporters. VAAV organised a branded temporary photo studio at 3 home games, where supporters could come and have their photo taken. Fans could then go to a specially designed website and download their photo. Fans could also send in their own photos to the website.
- 786 couples had their photo taken at 3 home games. Many other fans joined in as well, creating a buzz before home matches.
- The winners were chosen by a panel consisting of the club, players and Telenet.
- The winning couple were announced live on the pitch at a home game on 14th February 2009, which coincidentally was also St Valentines Day
- The winning couple won a “romantic” weekend in London, including a Premier League game West Ham vs Liverpool
- At the match on 14th February, VAAV distributed 3000 red roses to all female supports as they were leaving the stadium. The roses were packaged in the yellow of Telenet and carried the message “Telenet – Loving Supporter KV Mechelen”.
- The winning couple received considerable national press coverage
- 97% fans recalled Telenet as a sponsor
- 62% considered Telenet to be the “best sponsor” of KV Mechelen (instead of 19% before the action)
- 12% of fans had photo taken
- 93% of fans liked the action
- 71% of fans said action improved their perception of Telenet