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THE PRINCE IS BACK … this was the headline broadcast by soccer club Anderlecht on Sunday at midday. Just four words, but they sent a chill down the spines of everyone who loves the mauves: legendary soccer player Vincent Kompany would be coming home.
A whirlwind decision for Vince the Prince, for Anderlecht, and for Branded by Geronimo, the communication partner that masterminded the viral campaign video.
The news has since gone global: after an international career spanning 13 years, Vincent Kompany would be coming home to where it all began. In effect, the defender will soon be back at the place where he started learning his craft as an eight-year old. Kompany, who has bid the English club Manchester City farewell, will not only be a player, but also the manager. This is the most passionate, and simultaneously well thought-out decision of his life, Kompany explained in an open letter on Sunday.
No strings attached
The seeds for this major decision was sown last year, when Kompany spontaneously dropped by to a training session of a rather out of sorts Anderlecht. There he – with no strings attached – offered help and advice to club owner Mark Coucke and sporting director Michael Verschueren. Fast forward to three weeks ago and those same three people secretly held a meeting to ensure that everybody was on the same page about the future of the club. A future in which Vince the Prince will play a key role as a player-manager, allowing him to make a real impact on the club he’s coming home to.
No small feat
Big news, clearly, and yet it was shrouded in utmost secrecy. Only the management teams at both ex-club Manchester City and Anderlecht had any knowledge of the deal. It was on Thursday evening, just two days before the worldwide announcement that Wim de Meyer, communication advisor to Marc Coucke, informed Branded by Geronimo of their plans for the weekend: a global launch campaign. No small feat as the creative partner only had 48 hours to mould the news into a worthy launch, complete with press release, player announcement video and a behind the news interview with Coucke and Verschueren.
In just a few short hours, the rock & roll communication partner from Antwerp whipped up a creative team that worked day and night to bring this ambitious assignment to fruition. A gargantuan task carried out under a strict embargo, as only a handful of people were in the know of this most sensational transfer. At 12 o’clock sharp, the fruit of a fever-inducing few days was unwrapped, and RSC Anderlecht launched a “purple” announcement video that gave hundreds of thousands of supporters goose bumps.
In less than a day, the video was viewed 2 million times on social media, the campaign hashtag #theprinceisback was trending on Twitter and the campaign assets were being broadcast by every national news outlet. This dynamic launch campaign has set the tone for a fresh and lively Anderlecht that certainly didn’t hold back from voicing its ambition through new media. As a result, the club and Kompany can face the future with steadfast, combative determination and are already laying the foundations for the next mauve generation. Or as Kompany himself put it: Belgium’s finest.
Client: RSCA Anderlecht
Contact: Marc Coucke, Michael Verschueren, Wim De Meyer
Agency: branded by Geronimo
Business Director: Emanuel Vanderjeugd
Creative Director: Gertjan De Smet
Production Director: Jasper Moeyaert
Creation: Gertjan De Smet, Arto Cornelis, Fries Vansevenant
Production Company: Geronimo productions
Motion Design: Arto Cornelis, Fries Vansevenant, Jurgen Leemans
Content Research: Aram Chalmet
Press Editor: Ellen Meulemans
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