The social stadium
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Sponsor’s online platform will help fans find the best World Cup conversations
To support its global partnership with FIFA during the upcoming World Cup in Brazil, Sony has launched a social network called One Stadium Live.
The fully responsive platform acts as an aggregator, filtering through posts on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ related to the World Cup.
Developed by Isobar, London, the platform uses natural language processing to surface conversations and create communities of fans around FIFA-related topics (i.e. injury woes or team selections). Users can also filter what they see by six languages.
The technology is being complemented by a Sony ‘newsroom team’ made up of a group of multilingual social media experts from Isobar in the UK. This team will monitor the fan conversations across the six languages for all 32 competing teams and ensure that an editorial lens helps the technology bring the most interesting and relevant conversations to the fore.
Contagious Insight /
This is an eye-catching piece of sponsorship activation from a company in the midst of a major restructure as it attempts to rekindle the sparkle that once made it a consumer technology powerhouse.
Activation and strategy aligned / Sony has struggled to present a cohesive organisation in recent years, with lots of sub-brands and reputation for being extremely siloed. One Stadium Live is part of the company’s ongoing One Sony initiative to present a more unified brand. With sell-offs of its PC business (which includes the Vaio laptop brand) and television business due, the platform is an expression of ambition and a demonstration of a renewed focus on mobile for consumers.
First-screen and second screen / By creating an always-on and mobile first platform, Sony’s One Stadium Live is both a first-screen (pre- and post-game) and second-screen (during games) platform, meaning that users could rack up many hours using it over the course of the month-long event. As per Joseph Pine and Robert Gilmour’s ideas about the ‘Experience Economy’, time is the currency of experiences and a simple rule applies: ‘The more time customers spend with you, the more money they will spend now and in the the future,’
Driving uptake / As with many services like this though, the challenge will be driving usage. As the strategy is to harvest social posts out there in the public sphere, the platform is constantly populated and rich with conversation. Its success will rely on how useful users find this filtering, as opposed to the tools available natively on each platform. Will it truly cancel out the noise and clutter?
Right to be controversial? / One of the challenges Sony may face is how to deal with controversy. As an official sponsor, will it be allowed to explore conversations that criticise the tournament, or even officials? The 2014 World Cup has already endured public criticism for the government’s overspending on the event in Brazil, a country of disparate incomes. If there’s a failure to highlight these criticisms, should they become major talking points during the tournament, the service could appear farcical.
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