All eyes were on Russia during the lead-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but a famous trio had fans in New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia doing a double-take. In the five days leading up to the opening match in Moscow, Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar (or rather, their look-alikes) were out at iconic locations in iconic cities. We partnered with FOX Sports to generate excitement amongst fans and awareness of the impending FIFA World Cup kickoff by bringing these “soccer superstars” to the United States.
To create the most convincing look-alikes possible, we went on an international search for the right doppelgangers. A team of hair, make-up, and special effects artists equipped the impersonators with their athletes’ styles, right down to the tattoos! The official World Cup kits rounded out their looks.
We uncovered the major events happening in each market and got the look-alikes out in front of the public, generating a buzz everywhere they went. Fans quickly picked up on their presence at the Subway Series, the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York, and the Washington Capitals Stanley Cup celebrations.
Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar also got to check out iconic American landmarks. Fans that happened to walk by at the right moment may have witnessed the celebrities taking selfies in front of the White House, showing off at the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia, or admiring Manhattan architecture.
Local and national media picked up on the story, too. The three superstars found themselves appearing on news stations throughout the area and dropped by for in-studio appearances. Check out their visit to First Things First:
📺 The program was not limited to only guerilla marketing plays as the trio made numerous scheduled appearances on TV over a 5-day period. pic.twitter.com/dr7W1sePiB
— Gilt Edge Soccer Marketing (@SoccerMarketing) June 25, 2018
The program generated millions of impressions on social media and was the subject of numerous viral posts. Photographic content from the week turned into one of FOX Sports’ most engaged with Instagram posts that month.
“It was a great addition to our marketing plans around the kickoff to the World Cup — I couldn’t have imagined it going better.” – Whit Haskel, SVP Brand Marketing at FOX Sports
Header and NYC photo credit: Aaron Berger (@aaronbergerfoto)