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Google Pixel and The Guardian scored big at the Women's World Cup, here's how

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By The Drum | Editorial

November 30, 2023 | 6 min read

The Women's World Cup was a high point of the 2023 summer, find out how The Guardian worked with Google Pixel to position the tech brand as an integral part of the high profile event and also score a win at the Drum Awards for Digital Industries. Here is the award-winning case study.

Example of the award-winning digital work

Google Pixel’s objectives were to drive consideration and help fans get closer to the game during the Women’s World Cup 2023. The exclusive sponsorship of the Guardian’s coverage delivered all of this. The Guardian does football better than anyone else; with more awards, more readers and an open journalism policy which means our women’s football coverage is discoverable for all.

The Guardian’s longstanding policy of covering women’s football with the same depth and insight we bring to the men’s game means we are credible and influential in this space and were able to use that to boost Google Pixel’s credibility in the game – across a campaign that delivered 42m page views.

Campaign highlights included the most comprehensive guide to women’s football players ever (including details of all 736 players in the tournament), matchday liveblogs reaching millions, including 2m page views to the nail-biting cup final, and the Women’s Football Weekly podcast hitting 150% of its target audience.

Strategy

Our strategy was simple: put Google Pixel everywhere across the Guardian’s Women’s World Cup coverage.

Audio

The Guardian’s Women’s Football Weekly podcast returned for the duration of the global tournament. Hosts Faye Carruthers and Suzy Wrack teamed up with a mix of new and familiar voices from across the world of women’s football, three times a week, with a round-up, opinion and expert analysis on every game. Guests included commentators Robyn Cowen and Chris Slegg, former England and Aston Villa defender Anita Asante and former Chelsea player Claire Rafferty. Every episode was introduced by Faye Carruthers who mentioned the Google Pixel sponsorship.

Online

Every article we published included “Supported by Google Pixel” branding, bold roadblock ads for the Pixel 7a, featuring Lauren James and sharing Google Pixel’s support of the England team. This meant that Google Pixel had 100% share of voice across the Guardian’s coverage including: An interactive complete guide on all 736 players taking part in the tournament, written by experts from the players’ countries, included a breakdown of their skills, player history and insight into their lives outside of football.

We believe this is the biggest ever piece of journalism dedicated to women’s football, allowing fans to get to know every single player. Player ratings were added to the guide throughout the tournament. Live minute-by-minute match reports of all 64 games and a Guardian live sports blog on major match days. A guide to all 32 teams and countries written by a network of experts – a unique collaboration between some of the world’s best media outlets, bringing more local flavour and expertise to the Guardian’s coverage of the Women’s World Cup. The Guardian’s 2023 Women’s World Cup coverage also included: The Guardian’s women’s football newsletter Moving the Goalposts going out twice a week, gave avid fans a way to quickly get up to speed on the global competition.

Guest columns from Arsenal Women manager Jonas Eidevall (Sweden) and ex-internationals Karen Carney and Anita Asante (both England), Abby Wambach (US) and Joey Peters (Australia). Guardian sports writers from across the UK, US and Australia, at the heart of the action in New Zealand and Australia, provided match reports and instant reactions to the games. For Guardian UK, that included football writers Suzanne Wrack, Sophie Downey and Jonathan Liew, with Jeff Kassouf covering for Guardian US and Kieran Pender for Australia. There were also exclusive interviews with the stars of the tournament, including Ada Hegerberg, Kiera Walsh, Lena Oberdorf, Barbra Banda and Irene Guerrero.

Print

Before the tournament kicked off, the Guardian published a 32-page Women’s World Cup print supplement (Saturday 15 July), offering a complete guide to the tournament and every team taking part – with Google Pixel the sole sponsor. And to mark England’s first World Cup final since 1966, Google Pixel also ran print ads to celebrate the occasion.

Video

"Supported by Pixel” messaging across a wide range of video content during the tournament included fan reaction films, player interviews and a history of women’s football, taking the story from a banned sport to a historic equal pay deal; showing how the women’s game has evolved and continues to grow, as evidenced by the record number of fans engaging with this year’s World Cup.

Results

The Women’s World Cup 2023 was the Guardian’s most read women’s football tournament ever with widespread coverage across audio, online, digital, and print

The campaign delivered an audience of 12.5m, with 100% SOV on all Women’s World Cup content, including live blogs, post-match analysis and player reports

2.5m audience targeting “Women’s Football Fans”

79k impressions, sponsorship of Moving the Goalposts newsletter

Audio: 300k impressions and 100% SOV on Women’s Football Weekly Podcast

42m page views, with 2m page views to the nail-biting cup final and 150% of our podcast target for Women’s Football Weekly – with Google Pixel across all of it.

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