Product: Bundaberg Rum
Title: Bundy Mixer
Media: NRL Official Fantasy Website, Bundaberg Rum Owned Social, Paid Social, PR
Date Of Campaign: 1st August 2022
Background: 1 in 8 men think they can win a point off Serena Williams. And that's not just a tennis problem, it’s a deeply entrenched global issue that many men simply don't respect the skills of female athletes. Diageo wanted to change that, as part of a global push towards more inclusive portrayal. Their most loved Australian rum brand, Bundaberg Rum (Bundy), was a major sponsor of the Australian men’s and women’s National Rugby Leagues (NRL & NRLW) and while the men’s league was thriving, the women’s league was still in its infancy. Bundaberg was determined to build interest in the NRLW among fans of the NRL but unfortunately, the vast majority were men with no interest in women’s sport and little respect for the skills of the players. Despite the fact that the women’s stats were just as good as the men’s.With pretty traditional views on gender roles, these guys weren’t going to respond to messages of female empowerment. But we knew they loved stats and that many were avid participants of Fantasy Football.
Idea: Instead of just sponsoring the NRLW, Bundaberg Rum created a trojan horse idea to make men respect the women's game, without them even realising it. We did it by hijacking the largest global online sporting community for stats-obsessed fans – Fantasy Football – because you can’t argue with stats and stats have no gender.In partnership with the NRL, we created Bundy Mixer – the world’s first mixed-gender fantasy football competition. NRL fans could finally pick the best of the best, not just the best of the blokes. We built Bundy Mixer into the NRL’s official fantasy website, to ensure the widest reach. Each week, fans picked their teams – selecting the best performing players, regardless of gender. When their players accrued stats in real world games, they accrued points online, so the impetus was on fans to study the stats in order to win. Suddenly, they were engaging with the NRLW and starting to respect the skills of the players.We launched Bundy Mixer to coincide with the 2022 NRLW season through an integrated social, digital, PR and earned campaign. We created online films featuring some of the best NRL and NRLW players, to drive participation. We also worked with the players and NRL coaches to create additional content including films showing NRL coaches picking their teams blindly on stats alone.
Results: By studying the stats of the NRLW women, rugby fans started respecting the players. By respecting the players, they started watching and even loving the game. Bundy Mixer attracted 116,652 users and 13,316 registered players who engaged in the platform weeklyPlayer engagement more than doubled over the campaign periodOver 10 million media impressions generated93 pieces of coverage across the majority of national news outlets, including prime time coverageInfluencers delivered 83.1% reach+50% increase in NRLW viewership (compared to previous season) Increased demand has seen 4 new clubs enter the NRLW in 2023Deemed “a Masterclass in women’s sport sponsorship marketing” by Sports Director and former New Zealand Fern footballer, Rebecca Sowden.