“Despite bringing home the gold medal in the 2017 SEA Games, and the recognition of the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission…few remembered that the Philippines has a highly-skilled ice hockey team.” This observation by Francois Gautier, player and Executive Vice President of the Federation of Ice Hockey League (FIHL), was a shared sentiment among the players of the Philippine National Ice Hockey Team.
Ice Hockey is not a sport one would see people casually playing in the Philippines given our tropical weather and limited number of our skating rinks.
To fire up our audience and get their support, Evident developed a strong rallying cry that reflected the team’s love for the sport and the country. “Liyab sa Lamig”, translated “Flame in the Cold”, calls to mind the “blaze” or “flash” of speed and intensity with which our hockey players move on the ice. It also conveys how the team’s skill and performance sparks the passion and support of their diehard fans.
Visually, we used different tones of red and blue to juxtapose heat and cold, and simultaneously represent the main colors of the Philippine flag. We also produced a manifesto video to introduce the team and rally support from the Filipino community.
After generating interest from our target audience, we focused on bringing the game to them. Each game day, we gave away three coveted tickets to one lucky winner via the team’s Facebook page. This gave fans a chance to watch the game live, but more importantly it stimulated engagement.
Since the hockey games weren’t televised, Evident’s three-man team provided live social media coverage for each game to keep the fans updated and provide an avenue for them to show their support. Our team provided score updates and game highlights on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We also managed to capture and share moments outside of the rink—from the fans’ roaring chants of “Philippines!” to the players saying hi to their loved ones on the other side of the glass. By showcasing these moments, we were able to give fans the wonderful experience of watching our hockey team play their hearts out—on and off the ice.
The video, boosted for only PhP 5,000, reached over 344,000 people and garnered more than 18,600 views online. The hashtag #LiyabSaLamig was quickly picked up by the fans and became the top used hashtag on the social mentions of Hockey Philippines in Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The video gained so much traction that during the week of the hockey games, SM Supermalls reached out and offered to play the video for free on the SM Mall of Asia Arena LED and MAAX Eye as a show of support for the team. The video was also played for free on the LED billboards of SM Megamall and Robinsons Galleria. These free placements were worth PhP 1.05M in media value.
With all the traction produced by the video, the tickets for all the hockey team’s games quickly sold out.
Parallel to the video and tickets, we pitched the team’s story to the media. The pitch generated a total of eight released stories on Fox Sports, Philippine Star, and Multisport, posting an estimated PhP 1.26M in PR values and PhP 2.52M in media values.
Overall, the campaign created awareness and momentum for the Men’s National Ice Hockey team, firing up unprecedented support and national pride during the 2019 SEA Games. Now, our countrymen know that Filipinos are a force to reckon with on the ice, with a team performance and fan response that demonstrate what #LiyabSaLamig is.