United States – Popular fast food chain McDonald’s has launched a new campaign catered to anime fans globally, and utilises the ever-popular ‘WcDonald’s’ anime gag being used across multiple anime and manga titles over time.

To do this, McDonald’s has partnered with popular Japanese animation house Studio Pierrot to produce the first official WcDonald’s anime. Four episodic shorts will take fans into the flavorful world of WcDonald’s, where a story about the WcDonald’s Sauce and WcNuggets unfold each week.

It has also teamed up with manga artist/illustrator Acky Bright to design custom WcDonald’s packaging that will take fans deeper into the world of WcDonald’s with every meal. For a limited time, fans will receive manga-inspired packaging featuring WcDonald’s Crew characters, sketched by Acky himself.

A limited edition sauce will be also available, featuring a unique combination of ginger, garlic and soy with a slight heat from chili flakes packs an energetic blast of flavor in every bite.

Lastly, McDonald’s will be launching a multi-sensory dining experience in Los Angeles, California a genre-bending fusion of entertainment and food. Guests will be transported into the WcDonald’s universe through 360 projection mapping and immersive tabletop projections inspired by the four WcDonald’s anime episodic shorts – all while enjoying a set menu of WcDonald’s items. This will go live from March 9-10.

Tariq Hassan, chief marketing and customer experience officer at McDonald’s USA, said, “Anime is a huge part of today’s culture, and we love that our fans have been inviting us into the conversation for years. The WcDonald’s universe is a reflection of what fans have created. It honors their vision and celebrates their creativity, while authentically bringing it to life in our restaurants for the first time ever.”

Australia – Local football club Sydney FC has tapped content management system (CMS) company Storyblok to create digital experiences to boost fan engagement amongst its club and reignite their enthusiasm.

For this partnership, the football club worked closely with Herbert Digital, a Storyblok Certified Partner, to build a digital stadium experience with Storyblok in 4 months.

Along with being the main source of content for everything about Sydney FC, the website features an ‘Experience Selector’ that enables fans to pick the best seats for their circumstances and the atmosphere they want to enjoy.

Sydney FC only planned to use the website for the initial return to the stadium, but after seeing this success and experiencing how easy and cost-effective it is to manage content with Storyblok, they decided to continue using it as their primary membership hub.

Jeremy Butler​, head of consumer business, marketing and content at Sydney FC, said, “We were under intense time pressure to create relevant content for the website. The intuitive design of Storyblok was effective in allowing our content team to approach the project with minimal training.”

He added, “We, as marketers, can independently change the content without having to involve developers. This, combined with the ability to view changes in real-time, allowed us to achieve our objective ahead of the deadline.”

Meanwhile, Dominik Angerer, co-Founder and CEO of Storyblok, said, “Great digital experiences generate excitement far beyond the devices that they live on. Sydney FC has been able to use compelling content to drive action by their fans, leading to record revenue and attendance. This is a winning strategy, both on and off the pitch.”

Singapore – As the pandemic has halted major events such as live entertainment and spectator sports, global live entertainment company AEG Sports has marked the use of advanced analytics to measure fan sentiments online and to encourage frequent engagement, through global analytics company SAS.

The analytics utilization uses SAS’ Viya via Microsoft Azure, which uses online models to gauge fan perspectives toward such things as returning to in-person games. By continuously analyzing fan sentiment during the pandemic, AEG Sports has been able to personalize messages based on interest and feelings on personal safety, and identify which fans needed targeted retention efforts. Using these tactics AEG Sports has kept fans happy and boosted the ROI of marketing campaigns.

“Times are unpredictable – but with SAS and Microsoft, we have two key partners that we feel confident can help us adapt and thrive under any circumstances. We might not know what’s going to happen, but we know SAS and Microsoft have our goals in mind and will enable us to respond to any challenge we may face,” said Aaron LeValley, senior vice president of business operations and strategy at AEG Sports.

Meanwhile, Rodrigo Rocha, general manager cloud solutions and ISV alliances at Microsoft, commented that more than ever, digital transformation is critical as organizations learn to adapt to new customer behaviors. He also added that SAS Viya on Azure helps make that transformation easier and faster, providing much-needed, immediate actionable insights.

The company also uses the embedded capabilities in SAS Viya for contingency planning. The ability to quickly ingest and model data from multiple sources – including ticketing, partnerships, marketing, weather reports and health experts – helps AEG Sports reduce pandemic-driven uncertainty.

Jennifer Chase, senior vice president and head of marketing at SAS states that she is a strong proponent for customer-centricity – or in this case fan-centricity, adding that sports teams have a unique relationship with their ‘customers’, and AEG Sports’ passion for their fans has been evident during the pandemic.

“They [sports teams] use analytics to really understand fan reaction to the disruptions and determine how best to support them through it all. A fan experience with heart and humanity will inevitably lead to stronger fan connections, especially when fans recognize that their team understands their needs – in good or bad times,” Chase stated.

AI technology is at the heart of AEG Sports’ drive to continually increase the efficiency of its modeling efforts. The output of these models often become data visualizations, which AEG Sports uses to chart its day-to-day operations.

“Data visualization is critical to our business. Most people are visual learners, so being able to show a visual representation of data has been extremely beneficial in gaining buy-in. Right now, almost every department in our company uses data visualizations to make decisions and operate more efficiently,” John D’Onofrio, business analyst at AEG Sports, said.

He also added that they needed to turn data around quickly for games, so having daily reports with visualizations that sales leadership can look at and immediately understand is essential, especially when there’s a new game every two days.

Seoul, South Korea – Twitter’s #FanTweets, the platform’s exclusive fan engagement feature is venturing into K-pop, starting with BLACKPINK member ROSÉ, where fans can now engage with the artist herself through BLACKPINK’s official Twitter account

#FanTweets are a custom type of exclusive content on Twitter, where celebrities record their responses to real Tweets from fans. #FanTweets help to bring fans closer to their favorite artists and give them a chance to hear straight from the artists themselves. Also, witty, vibrant, and authentic tweets from fans will provide a different fun experience unique to #FanTweets.

Through #FanTweets, ROSÉ can reply to fan’s tweets about her new album, stage performances, life, and her dog ‘HANK’.

This comes after ROSÉ released her debut solo album ‘R’ last 12 March 2021, in which it entered the Billboard Hot 100. Her debut single ‘On the Ground’ also debuted and peaked at No.1 on the Billboard Global 200 chart.

“#FanTweets offer another way for fans to hear directly from their favorite K-pop artists. With #FanTweets, BLACKPINK’s ROSÉ shared new sides to her, as well as more stories for her fans to cherish. Twitter will offer more fan-driven exclusive content to enable fans to connect with their favorite artists and to drive conversations about #KpopTwitter and various K-content,” said YeonJeong Kim, head of global K-pop partnerships at Twitter.

Some of the celebrities who have engaged through #FanTweets include Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović and English singer-songwriter Louis Tomlinson, known to be part of the English boy band One Direction.