Bringing two entertainment juggernauts together in the most authentic way possible.
FIFA 23 by EA Sports is the most popular and best selling sports video game in the world, featuring over 700 REAL clubs from around the globe. The game prides itself based on its authenticity to the sport and its teams/players by getting more and more REAL every year. Similarly, since the launch of Emmy Award winning Ted Lasso, the show’s marketing has treated Ted and his team, AFC Richmond, as a REAL team by doing things like posting bespoke post match interviews based on games that are played in the show, and creating in-world Twitter accounts for Ted and other key characters.
AFC Richmond and their coach, Ted Lasso, became the first ever completely fictional team to be playable in FIFA. For gamers to accept it, it couldn’t feel like a branded sponsorship. Which meant, no show branding at all. Ted’s official (in-world) Twitter account kicked off the partnership with a teaser post featuring the back of his head getting a 360º motion capture scan. Thousands of fans of Ted and FIFA immediately started posting and speculating about the possibility of Ted and AFC Richmond actually being in the game. The next day, a launch film confirmed the partnership, getting 7 million views on the first day alone, and trending across multiple social platforms.
To take Ted Lasso’s in-world marketing to the next level, Ted Lasso partnered with the most important place any REAL team could ever show up: FIFA 23, the biggest sports video game in the world. This made AFC Richmond the first ever fictional football team to be allowed into the game—which is known for its authenticity and becoming more REAL with every release. EXECUTION Campaign launch: September 20, 2022. Global release in the FIFA 23 game, with Ted Lasso and every AFC Richmond player featured as playable characters. FIFA 23/Apple worked in partnership with show writers to develop authentic player rating stats based on each character’s playing style and story arc within the show. Marketing materials were launched globally across FIFA 23 and Ted Lasso social handles.
– 13.2 Billion Earned Media impressions in the first 30 days. – 17th most played team in FIFA (out of over 700 REAL teams). – Over 2000 articles written globally about the partnership. – With no paid media the partnership got more social buzz than when the show, Ted Lasso, won 4 Emmy Awards. – Streaming of Ted Lasso on Apple TV+ went up 35%.
Brands: Apple (Cupertino, USA) and EA Sports (Redwood City, USA). Production: EA Sports (Redwood City, USA) and Warner Bros (Los Angeles, USA).
Creative Direction / Strategy: « Apple Apple ».
VP of Brand: David Jackson. Head of Creative, EA SPORTS: Paul Marr. Director of Strategy: Ben Prout. Director of Brand Marketing: Kevin Strunk.
Senior Vice President, Legal & Business Affairs: Jen Stump. Vice President, Business Development & Licensing: Ben Elliott. Vice President, Clearance & Integration: Lora Ducat. Vice President, Legal Affairs: Aaron Lowenstein.