This past August 21st in Mexico City, together with FOX Sports Mexico – the official broadcaster of the Bundesliga in the country – we surprised two football amateur teams that were playing the final of their local neighborhood amateur tournament, in one of the most recognizable local soccer clubs in the Mexican capital, FEMAC Pedregal. It all started around 9 p.m. when players from both teams arrived to begin the warm ups prior to the big match.
Suddenly, the speakers started blasting the Bundesliga anthem while a group of students from Universidad Panamericana, one of the most prestigious in Mexico, entered the field waving a circular flag with the Bundesliga logo. The players were then lined up for the protocol acts, as if the game was about to begin, but they didn’t know they were about to receive the surprise of their lifetime… the show was about to start!
A long cloth that was covering the second floor read “Under Construction” in order to prevent any suspicions fell down revealing a large group of about 150 fans. They were comprised of Anáhuac students and members from the Borussia Dortmund official Mexico City fan club and Academy. The fans started chanting the players’ names and held signs honoring the players.
Noticeably excited, the players started greeting and thanking the fans and then came another part of the surprise: Bonifacio Núñez, a former Mexican referee who was very controversial in his time. “Boni”, as he’s known, entered the field with the official match ball of the Bundesliga, Derbystar, and greeted the players.
Immediately after, a group of little kids brought in official jerseys from 12 of the Bundesliga clubs with the players names on them, and handed them out to each one of the players. One team was going to wear white or light-colored jerseys, while the other would wear the colored ones.
The players were in shock and after putting the Bundesliga jerseys on their excitement grew further when we revealed Marion Reimers and Alex Blanco, official FOX Sports Mexico commentators, who were there to grace the players with a play-by-play of the game. But surprises didn’t end there.
Marion and Alex started reading the line ups from both teams, that included names like “Chuy”, “Frijol”, “Chino Wero” and other nicknames that the players had. After finishing going through the white team sheet they announced Mexican soccer player and National Team standout Francisco “Maza” Rodríguez, who played for VfB Stuttgart in his prime, was going to be part of the team. Later, they invited the first Mexican player to ever win a Bundesliga title, Pável Pardo with Stuttgart, to join the colored team.
And… there it was. Seven moments to comprise one big surprise and a very exciting match that crowned the white team as the champions of FEMAC Pedregal.
How did we accomplish this?
More than 250 people were part of this stunt. We, Eduardo Rivoldi and Diego Pinzón (me), at the Bundesliga International Americas Regional Head Office came up with the idea, and then pitched it to our PR agency in Latin America, ExtremePR. Together we went to FOX Sports Mexico who immediately fell in love with and bought into the project.
Ignacio Ibarra, founder of Hunters Management – a sports marketing agency -, was the brains behind the execution. We had previously worked with “Nacho” for the Bundesliga Experience México in April and we started making this idea come to life.
We involved almost 200 people between staff from FEMAC Pedregal, the Borussia Dortmund official fan club and Academy in Mexico, students from Nacho at the Universidad de Anáhuac, and general Bundesliga fans to help us out with the logistics. FOX Sports Mexico brought in a production crew of more than 20 people, including Marion and Alex, from their Live Events and Digital teams, to capture and distribute the final piece edited by them (see above).
Apart from the circular flag, the official team jerseys, we also branded the goals with our Football As It’s Meant To Be tagline and the field boards with Bundesliga, FOX Sports and FEMAC logos.