BFFT & FCI: Small Sponsor but big ideas to boot!
The whole of footballing Germany was looking on this particular Monday towards where the FC Ingolstadt 04 (FCI) had the possibility of practically being promoted up into the Bundesliga 1st Division when playing in the Southern German Derby against the 1st FC Nuremberg Club. In the middle of all that excitement and in the crowd as well was a small sponsor with big ideas.
It was on a warmish summer evening, the sun just going down, and a sold-out stadium to the last seat for weeks, Derby fever and the fight for promotion all rolled up into one. That was the background to a great football evening in Ingolstadt. Even for the BFFT automotive engineering developer, the game was to be a real speciality. Having taken a quick look at the situation in the Table, BFFT used this Derby crunch encounter as an opportunity to extend its sponsoring commitment for the FCI again, point for point and to check its multifaceted overall sponsoring construction for suitability and maturity, all ready for going up into the 1st Division of the Bundesliga.
The core element of the marketing- and recruiting- campaign was: ‘wanted : playmakers, forwards and centre-halfs’, which was launched during the second half of the season and was to reach its climax in the hot end-of-season sprint. At the back of the campaign are three especially ‘concealed’ searches of the BFFT automotive engineering developer (for playmakers, forward and centre-halfs), which had been prominently included on the website and the social media channels of BFFT. The job searches had been projected several times during games on the 110 m long lineside LED strip advertising band banners. Apart from enhancing publicity for BFFT, the search for workforce members was the primary aim of the promotion – BFFT has currently about 100 jobs to be manned. The banner advertising was also flanked for the first time by means of a ‘special offer’ action all around the stadium where a team of six workforce members distributed 9,000 flyers with the three special positions (playmakers, forwards and centre-halfs) to the fans and spectators. As per QR Code printed on the flyers, interested persons could access the open jobs page on the BFFT website, whereby each QR Code was combined with a raffle for the winning of VIP tickets.
Apart from these recruiting supportive measures, BFFT created a whole series of emotional sponsoring elements for its own workforce members as well as for the FCI fan club. For example, a large ticket special offer was initiated for supporters on the “Schanzer”, which BFFT as well as other contenders introduced into the sold-out ground. In addition, a BFFT Fansofa was initiated, which had been installed for several years already alongside the coaching- and managing bench of the FCI – being two premieres in dual pack. Previously, seats on the Fansofa had as a rule been raffled via Facebook competitions to the Ingolstadt fans, but this time the BFFT Instagram Channel was employed. All that was required, was for a fan to post a photo of himself taken in the stadium, on the BFFT Instagram page and the best selected photo enabled the winner to gain a much coveted place on the Fansofa on the touch line. And another new novelty – for the first time in the history of the Fansofa the BFFT automotive engineering developer joined forces with the ‘Schanzer Rollis Fan Club” (Wheelchair riders of the football club) and made it possible for the wheelchair disabled to experience Bundesliga-level football close up. As a third highlight, two children of BFFT workforce member parents were enabled to experience an unforgettable event, by including them in one of the kids’ escorts of the players and football stars, hand in hand with them when coming onto the field.
The result of the Derby game was actually a draw, 1:1 whereby the hoped-for great step upwards of the ‘Schanzer’ for promotion was unfortunately not achieved, but a small step forward was all the same obtained. ‘I am very glad for the Club, the region and also for us as the sponsor’, said Dr. Michael Schilhaneck, Head of the BFFT Department for Marketing-Communication. ‘We have successively managed to introduce a tailor-made and highly emotional overall sponsoring concept over the course of our 5 year sponsoring partnership with the Club, and it has reached the highest spread and effect of all in this current end-of-season final.’ A further gearing-up of the sponsoring activity would be promotion to the 1st Division of the Bundesliga and – the BFFT automotive engineering developer seems to be ready as well for promotion, too.