Winner: 2018 Philippine Quill Award
The Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters is a professional basketball team owned by Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc., which debuted in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in 2016. In a league dominated by teams owned by conglomerates such as San Miguel and MVP Group, the Fuel Masters had to prove its caliber to the league and to the fans. To raise the profile of the team, the Fuel Masters needed to build a fanbase in key social media platforms to unify the team and build support for them.
The average sports fan consumes content beyond live and televised games, wants instant access to highlights, and likes to do this on his or her own terms. Acknowledging these behavioral changes in sports consumption and the rising number of active mobile internet users in the Philippines, we built online properties for the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters to reach the rising number of cord cutters and highly engaged sports fans.
#FightToThePhoenix was the team’s battlecry, an expression of its drive to be a true contender in the league. It reflected the team’s never-say-die attitude and commitment to giving whatever it takes to win the championship. As such, all content was focused on this one goal—uniting players, management, staff, and fans.
This message resonated in the team’s early stages, when it was perceived as an underdog with much to prove. As the team rose in the ranks, the battlecry inspired both the players and their ever-growing fan base. As support swelled for the team, more and more basketball fans rallied around this message, fueling the team to its best performance as it reached for the prize.
Choosing key social media platforms instead of building costly stand-alone apps, Evident was able to design and structure an efficient pop-up newsroom that enabled the team to produce content custom-fit for the mobile-first sports fan.
According to the Buffer/Buzz Sumo Facebook Marketing Report, the overall page engagement of all Facebook pages dropped by 50% after Facebook’s algorithm update in early 2018. With the update, users saw fewer posts from brands and pages that they follow, which made it a challenge for brands to promote themselves on social media.
However, with its relevant and engaging content, Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters Facebook page, managed to keep high post engagement from its fans.
In just over a year, we were able to double the team’s total post reach and page engagements—with zero budget increase.
Our monthly ad budget of only PhP 10,000 for 12 months generated 45.5 million eyeballs nationwide and produced almost 5 million engagements at only 4 centavos per result. Average page engagement rate also significantly increased by 3 percentage points to 13%.
By March 15, 2019, our strategy of developing more refined audience sets and producing more engaging and relevant content helped the page earn more that 201,000 likes, surpassing client’s target by 5%.
This just goes to show that a champion communication strategy can truly win the hearts of fans and fuel the passion for an underdog team.