SAFEIS: Gamers Without Borders
Uniting global gamers to fight the pandemic.
At the beginning of March 2020, COVID-19 had brought the world to a near halt and indefinitely postponed all sporting live events. This included a new international gaming initiative organized by the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS), set to take place in the Kingdom.
How could we still showcase the thrill of live sport in the virtual world? We developed an unrivalled virtual esports season with a global cause at its heart – an opportunity for Saudi to unite all global gamers together from home lockdown and inspire them to play their part fighting the pandemic. In a time when live international sport was on hold, it truly offered a new type of sporting experience for Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world. Our objective was simple: build a campaign to unite gamers worldwide as a switched-on, savvy, compassionate force for good.
In seven weeks we delivered 1,000+ social posts and issued 77 pieces of press and media content. We engaged major influencers: gaming-loving footballers Dele Alli, Paulo Dybala, Trent Alexander-Arnold, plus global megastars Liam Payne and Snoop Dogg, all donated to the charities of their choice. They appeared on the tournament livestreams, shared and promoted clips on their channels and highlights of their appearance were distributed far and wide.
Esports microinfluencers penetrated the communities of global games such as Fortnite, FIFA and PUGB Mobile. We ensured the powerful elite gaming teams and brands spread the message and converted sign-ups in the wider community and in the mainstream. We also established partnerships with top tier titles and provided bespoke content for each.
We drew more than 200,000 participating gamers from 82 countries, who together played 200,000+ online matches. 1.9million hours of stream views from fans in 100+ countries generated 1.14 billion digital impressions, 75.6 million social video views, and 28.9 million digital engagements through social channels we launched and grew to 562,000 followers in less than a month-and-a-half. The esports event won more than 1,600 articles worldwide from mainstream, gaming and sports outlets throughout, reaching 2.7 billion people.
Most importantly was the social impact: the money raised helped to combat COVID-19 on the front line. Charities such as UNICEF provided first-hand accounts, on a GWB Twitch live stream to millions of viewers, about their efforts as first responders in Wuhan, China, and around the gargantuan efforts of their medical and logistics teams.