In celebration of South by Southwest (SXSW), we’re winding back the clock to reminisce on a previous activation. SXSW may be online this year, but it wasn’t in 2018 when we partnered with FOX Sports to drum up excitement for the 2018 FIFA World Cup via the FOX Sports House.
The FIFA World Cup comes to SXSW
Let’s set the scene. It’s spring of 2018 and the FIFA World Cup is roughly three months away. Down in Austin, FOX Sports, the English-language rights holders, are providing SXSW attendees a sneak peek of what’s to come.
For those who have been to SXSW you know the importance of breaking through the clutter. There are brands galore with unique and inspiring activations amidst the conference’s panels and other activities.
When the FIFA World Cup comes only every four years, what better way to generate buzz than by making noise at SXSW? 100 days out from the world’s biggest sporting event provided FOX Sports 100 different reasons to head to Austin.
“SXSW brings creative people together from around the globe to meet, learn, and share ideas. What better way to do that than over a beer, a taco, and the world’s game hosted by FOX Sports.”— Scott Hutchison, GESM
For four consecutive days, our immersive experience transformed SXSW attendees into FIFA World Cup ambassadors as they selected, shared and socialized their preferred nations.
FOX Sports House by the numbers:
- 5,300+ visitors
- 7+ million digital impressions
- 28,000+ digital engagements
- 500,000+ views on live-streamed programming
- 250+ million in combined press readership / viewership
FOX Sports House
In order to make noise, our team needed to go big. Leading up to SXSW our team sourced, designed, fabricated, staffed and activated a 5,100 square foot, multi-floor takeover of Austin’s Hangar Lounge bar, turning it into the FOX Sports House.
As you can see above, the building exterior was completely wrapped and featured bold and inviting FIFA World Cup graphics. Inside, we made sure everything offered added to the experience and helped FOX Sports and fans gear up for the FIFA World Cup.
“After a year without live events it makes you nostalgic for epic experiences like FOX Sports House and hopeful we’ll be able to get back to putting on stellar activations in the near future.”— Danielle Prior, GESM
Celebrity panel sessions
A few days at SXSW wouldn’t be complete without panel sessions. From a discussion on social media’s influence on culture to the future of cross-platform content creation, FOX Sports House played host to four panels.
- “Women of FOX Sports” Present: The Art and Science of Social Media
- 24/7 Viewership and the World Cup – Broadcast, Social, Digital Primetime
- Nossa Chape Behind-the-Scenes: Connecting Community and Sport through Film
- PHENOMS Launch Event: Seizing the Global Spotlight
FOX Sports programming and broadcasts
The FOX Sports House also provided FOX Sports the ability to test a few broadcast and social media shows that would later become part of their FIFA World Cup coverage.
Rachel Bonnetta hosted a daily streaming show, a precursor to her Twitter show, World Cup Now, that aired throughout the tournament. Her 30-minute tournament show provided match action previews, recaps, Twitter reaction and original segments. It was part of FOX’s Emmy-winning tournament coverage.
Menus inspired by Chef Gordon Ramsey
The FIFA World Cup celebration wouldn’t be complete without a little food and FOX Sports House had plenty! Attendees could sample from a few different taco options – it is Austin, after all. The tacos were inspired by Gordon Ramsey and ingredients native to five different participating countries.
Of course, you can’t have a taco and not wash it down with a beverage. In keeping with the 2018 FIFA World Cup participating countries theme, beers from four different countries were available in addition to Budweiser. Boddingtons for England. Hoegaarden for Belgium. Beck’s for Germany. Estrella Jalisco for Mexico.
Tattoo artists inking onsite
For fans wanting a more lasting symbol of their fandom and FOX Sports House attendance, we brought in our friends at Reign Ink. Airbrush tattoo artists provided fans a slew of different FIFA World Cup-themed designs. To say the tattoos were popular is an understatement.
Commemorative photos and GIFs
Whether or not a tattoo was in the cards for attendees, there was another option for a FOX Sports House takeaway souvenir. We built a 180-degree commemorative photo and GIF booth where fans could pose with a FIFA World Cup trophy, country scarves, and other soccer-themed items.
Rooftop lounge hangouts
For fans who wanted to grab a seat and chat or play foosball, the FOX Sports House rooftop was another option. Not only did it serve as a lounge for attendees, but it also played host to the four SXSW panels.
“Being able to collaborate and produce an event for such a well-known brand (FOX Sports) that combined the world’s biggest sporting event and SXSW was truly a highlight personally, professionally, and for Gilt Edge. That the event was an unbelievable success was the icing on the cake.”— Danielle Prior, GESM
FOX Sports House gallery
Want to see more of the exciting things we did with FOX Sports at SXSW in 2018? Check out more images from the exciting event below.