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Case Studies


Manchester United F.C. ‘Code Red’ digital campaign

Manchester United F.C. ‘Code Red’ digital campaign

Best practice from AKQA


After a summer in South Africa, the world could be forgiven for suffering football fatigue.

But the next season waits for no player. Teams have to lay the groundwork for a successful campaign in pre-season. Whenever and however their summer finishes.


Our aim was to inspire and enable our audience of passionate, young footballers to kick off their pre-season early. And hard.

So we gave them never-before-seen access to one of the world’s best teams, revealing Man Utd’s pre-season code for success, their Code Red.

But we wanted our audience to direct their own pre-season training. So we gave them control of Code Red.


Using Facebook, our audience told us which players they wanted to talk to and what they wanted to learn from them.

The players answered the questions, called out the entrant’s name and signed the brand new Man Utd shirt for them – all in a video posted to the Facebook page.

This gave young footballers unprecedented access to the players they idolised, to give their pre-season training the perfect kick.

And a lucky few young footballers won the ultimate pre-season start – a training day with Man Utd’s state-of-the-art, Carrington training ground.


Code Red results:
• An average of 1,600 interactions per Facebook post
• More than 1.7 million video views on YouTube
• Increase of 320,000 new fans of Nike Football on Facebook
• And three lucky winners trained with Man Utd at Carrington

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