Real Madrid, the well-known football club with their white uniform was doing their tour to China on July 2015. The international football club introduced their first instance of proximity marketing in the footballing world. The introduction of iBeacon now stands as a benchmark case for innovation in the industry.
Real Madrid began their tour on July with a friendly match with Inter Milan. With more than 40.000 attendance in Guangzhou Tianhe Stadium, their fans can interact with beacon’s broadcasted message during the match.
This O2O interaction goal is also to reach Real Madrid fans elsewhere in China. The usage of iBeacon technology also to maximize the impact of Real Madrid’s social media prize draw campaign as fans who were coming shared into their social media. The involvement of these targeted fans contributed to reaching over ten million views of Real Madrid’s.
“We know who we belong to, we belong to our fans, including the millions of Chinese fans to whom we want to give a sense of belonging. We have the largest following of any football club in the world. The honor is not only carried by us onto the football pitch, but also by generations and generations of fans to come,” club president Florentino Perez said at a press conference before the Guangzhou match.
Fans at the venue were led to open their Bluetooth, then enter into the WeChat “Shake” page, select the “Nearby” option for “Shake”, and shake their phones to land on the Real Madrid China tour event page. The event page included various Real Madrid China tour event information made easy to share for participants, who after sharing could in turn enter into the prize draw. The landing page also included a QR code for following the Real Madrid WeChat account, improving the efficiency of sharing actions and the frequency of interaction.
During the matches, Real Madrid Football Club’s official Weibo and WeChat accounts simultaneously launched sweepstakes. Football fans participating by sharing the social media content could obtain Real Madrid home shirts signed by all the players, commemorative scarves, and other prizes brought from Spain even without leaving their homes. Fans were excited by the prospect of these valuable gifts, which was Real’s way of giving back to their supporters.
Real Madrid chose iBeacon to expand market penetration and connect more solidly with their existing fan base. Real Madrid also views itself as the world’s biggest football club and wants to stay at the forefront of market innovation by employing the latest in technology to reach out to their fans. WeChat’s “Shake” feature in Real Madrid’s China tour case created a new parallel for the high-tech and sports industries and a new model for sports marketing.