Manchester City Football Club has become the first Premier League team to create virtual avatars of their superstars Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Samir Nasri.
The move is part of a new International digital marketing campaign, City Fan Cam: www.mcfc.co.uk/cityfancam
During Sunday’s blockbuster clash with Spurs, the Club captured a 360 degree, 5 billion pixel, ultra high resolution picture of inside the Etihad Stadium. The images were then digitally stitched together to recreate a perfect composite, encapsulating the passion and atmosphere of a match day. The visual was then uploaded to the Club website, to allow the 47,000 Blues’ fans in attendance to zoom in on HD images of themselves, tag one another and share it on Facebook and Twitter.
However, for City’s legions of international fans that couldn’t make it to the match, the Club has launched a one-of-a-kind, interactive competition to find the hidden players, dotted around the stadium.
Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Samir Nasri were all recorded in front of a green screen then digitally rendered into the online visual.
The lucky fans who are able to spot the hiding players will receive an interactive message asking them to enter a competition to win a signed shirt and personalised video message from the player, which will then be uploaded on to the winner’s Facebook page.
Julian Pate, Head of Marketing, for Manchester City, said: “Although digital stadium panoramas have been done in the past, they have always felt one dimensional. The idea behind #bluesunday and City Fan Cam was to engage fans in the physical space on match-day and involve the wider international fan base digitally through our social channels – something that hasn’t been done in football before.”
Russell Stopford, Head of Digital, for Manchester City: “The chosen players have a huge global appeal across social media. By harnessing the players’ international reach and creating engagement opportunities across multiple Club channels, we are able to bring our fans closer to club, regardless of where they are in the world.”
This fan-focused initiative was a collaboration between the Club, SEI London and Gigapixel FanCam.
Tinus Le Roux, Founder of Gigapixel FanCam said, “Manchester City and its fans are the first Barclays Premier League side to become part of the FanCam family, marking an incredible ‘Blue Sunday’. We are excited to enable fans to celebrate and re-live this momentous event forever more. The combination of industry leading technology with social media engagement, delivers an unforgettable experience for the fans and a unique marketing opportunity for the Club.”
As part of the shoot, doubted #bluesunday, City supporters from all over Greater Manchester were urged to show their true colours, by dressing head to toe in Blue.
The best dressed fans in the stands will be chosen to win the prize of a life time for any City supporters – a place alongside the likes of FA Cup hero, Yaya Toure, team captain Vincent Kompany and manager Roberto Mancini in the official team photo for the upcoming 2012/13 season, in the new home kit.