Forged In Steel.
The team at Sheffield United approached us due to our vast experience with other elite football clubs. After working on several ad-hoc projects with the team, including the 2017/18 kit launch campaign, the Board of Directors at Sheffield United asked us to develop a cohesive marketing strategy for the club.
The objective was to help prepare the club for them their promotion push to The Championship and subsequently, a big Premier League return. The club lacked vision needed a partner to create a unified vision for the club so they could communicate clearly and consistently with fans and sponsors.
Our research began with an Insight and understanding the positives and challenges facing the club – from supporters to commercial opportunities. At the heart of the whole piece was understanding the fans, as Club’s fan base has a unique mindset and self-awareness. We trawled message boards, read history books, interviewed fans and attended matches in a bid to understand what would resonate with supporters so we could unify them under a single banner.
The Big Idea.
We needed something simple. Something that stirred the soul, that had not been used before and allowed the Blades to ‘own’ their heartland, The Steel City of Sheffield. After numerous ideas and sessions, ‘Forged In Steel’ struck like a hammer on hot metal. We knew immediately that it was the right way to go. This campaign tagline would form the club’s identity, supported by the campaign: ‘What makes a Blade?’ talking about strength and resilience of supporters.
The strategy was all about consistent and staged communication. It was introduced to the fans and rolled out across all departments; from retail and tickets, to commercial and the players & management. It appeared across the Club’s on and offline assets including official websites, social channels and around the stadium. Crucially, it was well received by the fans who bought into the message and what the club was trying to do. This was unveiled months before Sheffield United’s successful promotion to the Premier League… coincidence?
20,433Season Tickets Sold
1m+Campaign Video Views
The Forged In Steel campaign has been a huge success already and has contributed to season ticket sales which has already surpassed last year’s total, the highest number for over 7 years.
Paul Reeves, Head of Commercial – Sheffield United FC