The 2018 FIFA World Cup finals was a landmark occasion for the Arab League. For the first time ever, four Arab nations (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt) had progressed through the qualifying stages and would participate at the group stage. Amongst the teams was Egypt, playing at their first World Cup finals since 1990. On a worldwide scale this was especially prominent; one of their key players Mohamed Salah had been crowned top scorer of England’s Premier League earlier that year, so buzz and anticipation was high.
Looking to capitalise on this, Kerzner International approached us with an idea of building their own incentive program around the World Cup, referred to as Kerzner Star Player. Their aim was to bring together agents within the Middle East and GCC regions through an exclusive initiative. All agents needed was to book at a selection of illustrious Kerzner resorts, including One&Only Royal Mirage and Atlantis, The Palm and they’d be in with the chance of winning an all-inclusive trip to Russia to watch a match live! Kerzner sought our help to not only create a platform to log the agent’s bookings but manage an integrated marketing campaign alongside their communications team.
Having worked closely with Kerzner and their hotel brands for several years, they came to us to help launch the Star Player program. After some initial brainstorming discussions, our design team worked to pull together several branding options, including a logo and core imagery. These materials would be used throughout the campaign so needed to be eye-catching, engaging and representative of the Kerzner brand. We settled on a striking dark blue / gold combination, with a brand mascot wearing a football strip in the Kerzner colours – to build a sense of togetherness and unity for the agents booking at their resorts.
To kick off the Star Player program and officially open the portal for bookings, Kerzner were to hold two launch events in their key markets: Riyadh and Jeddah. For the events there would be a reception and dinner, culminating in a speech by Vice President of Sales & Marketing in the Middle East and GCC, Yousif Mukhtar. Following the formalities, those in attendance had the chance to meet and win signed memorabilia by (at the time) the Egyptian national captain and goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary and the former Saudi national captain Mohamed Abd Al-Jawad – they were kept hush hush in the build up!
Online Booking Portal
Having already built an incentive program for their One&Only brand, we first set about creating an extension specific to the Kerzner Star Player initiative. With our new branding concepts decided, we took our existing framework and implemented the new styles. A few technical adjustments were required in order to make the platform fit for the Star Player campaign, including a brand-new name randomiser. Upon campaign completion, it was planned for there to be a random draw to determine the five star players. Using our database of booking information, we were able to run a process to cross-reference each room night (chance) and then generate a user’s name. Once a name had been used, it and all of its associated records were removed from the following draw until we were left with five, unique names = our star players!
Marketing and Promotion
We worked together with Kerzner in order to roll out an integrated marketing campaign promoting the Kerzner Star Player initiative. Our team were responsible for creating and managing a Facebook campaign as well as a selection of image concepts and email communications. Each week we would plan and scope a selection of posts to drum up excitement but also promote each participating resort to help agents in their booking efforts. Similar messages would be conveyed through email, both in multiple languages. The campaign would run for four months until the winners were unveiled at the grand closing ceremony.
All our efforts over the course of the three-month booking period, and indeed all of the preparation work prior, culminated with a closing event to reveal the winners. All 200+ participating agents were invited to attend an evening of celebration and recognition of their efforts. For those who couldn’t attend, the grand draw was livestreamed to the Facebook page – watching here from the UK was nail-biting! It was fantastic to see our work in action, from the branded artwork through to the suspenseful name randomiser.
We look forward to working with Kerzner International on similar campaigns in the future.