Casey H. Moore

Sometimes “not engaging” Is the right move

Chad Ochocinco loves the beautiful game, so much so he trialed for Sporting Kansas City during the NFL lockout in 2011. Even though he loves to play, it seems his real soccer passion is to play as Messi in the FIFA video game.

He talks about FIFA incessantly on Twitter. In his offseason playing in the Canadian Football League he went to a fan’s house to battle it out on the virtual pitch.  While in Virginia, the Montreal Allouettes’ wide receiver, put the challenge to any of his followers in the area. @TheeCMo was quick to reply with an address and a controller. Sure enough, Chad showed up at his door ready to make the dream match up happen.

The moment lit the social world on fire with Complex Sports, Sports Nation, The Score and Fox Sports Live all tweeting about the scenes. EA Sports/FIFA has had a playful online relationship with Ocho over the years tweeting back and forth but this time there was no engagement from the video game giant.  Their inactivity made me wonder how this all went down within EA.  Did the controversial nature of Ochocinco cause them to stay away?  Did they think the organic chatter was spreading just fine and there was no reason to jump in?  Did they not want to take focus away from the industry Gamescom event taking place in Germany.

We can only speculate, of course.  They must have been tempted to jump in, but I’d argue there was really no need for the brand to speak.  The story was authentic at its core, with genuine product interest from both athlete and fans.  What was the brand really going to add to the conversation?

Say what you will about Chad but he certainly loves his FIFA, and he’s always up for the competition.  I’m sure we will be seeing and hearing more about this authentic marriage in the future.

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Categories: FIFA, Soccer Marketing, Social Media