messi and ibai in paris

Mission :

The transfer window this summer was unlike any other we’ve seen before. One in which two of the game’s biggest icons switch teams, shocking fans of all participating clubs. Leo Messi was still at Barcelona at the end of last season, where he had played for 21 years, and everyone expected they would be able to afford him a new contract. It was then, on Thursday, August 5th, that everything changed.

Eventually, it became evident that Barcelona would not be able to maintain him and that a move to Paris Saint-Germain was very much in play.

Here at Samba Digital, we are the digital agency for PSG in LATAM, Brazil and the US. And to be involved in one of the biggest stories in football history was something that deserved the team’s undivided attention.  

ACTION :

It was very important for the Samba team to do the story justice on the PSG Spanish, Portuguese and English channels, as the whole world was going to be watching Messi’s presentation in Paris. With this in mind, we moved quickly, contributing ideas to the global strategy of the in-house PSG Digital Media team.

Over the next few days, the team relocated to Paris and collaborated with PSG, providing value through special Messi graphics and a unique production with Ibai, the world’s biggest sport streamer. In addition to assisting the in-house team as needed.

Ibai’s arrival in Paris was something the team worked hard to achieve. He is a friend of Messi’s, even going to his farewell party at the player’s home in Barcelona just a few days before. As a result, the connection between them appears more genuine and fun on camera.

This interview took place at the stadium and was notable for being Messi’s first Twitch appearance. With Samba behind the camera, over 300,000 people from all over the world tuned in live to watch, resulting in a total of 2.7 million views.

In the days after the interview, the innovative approach to his presentation was covered by media across the world. With Bloomberg saying that “Messi’s Twitch interview shows how social media is conquering sport”

All the major media outlets in Argentina (Clarin, Olé, La Nacion, ESPN, TyC Sports) and Spain (Marca, El Pais, AS, Goal) covered the activation. With Twitch highlighting the video, calling the interview “GOAT meets GOAT”! 

Following that, the Spanish streamer posted his first ever Vlog on his YouTube channel, detailing his journey to Paris, which has been viewed over 5.6 million times.

The Samba Team stayed in Paris during the week and on the weekend to cover Messi’s pre-game presentation to the crowd. Tomás Marcó del Pont, Pedro Caffa, Tomás De Micheli, and Tom Carter were on hand to generate live content for the match against Strasbourg at the Parc des Princes. To finish off what had already been a crazy week, the team even became celebrities in Argentina by appearing on ESPN!

Taking Ibai to the Parc des Princes became a trending topic on the day he spoke to Leo Messi, and the Twitch live results demonstrates how vital it is for the club to connect with social media influencers. 

METRICS :

On the 5th of August, PSG’s Spanish Twitter channel had an impressive 523k; now it has over 1 million, nearly doubling in one month. It was also the first European football Spanish account to hit the 1 million mark.

The English account experienced comparable growth, going from 658k to over 1.1 million in the same time span. Even the Brazil account grew over 100k new followers in just a week! And that’s just for Twitter.

The club also added:

  • Instagram – 12M new followers
  • YouTube – 2M new subscribers
  • TikTok – 7M new followers
  • Facebook – 2M new followers 

Their total of 132 million followers across all platforms still places them behind Barcelona (326m), Real Madrid (317m), and Manchester United (180m), but the gap has narrowed significantly. With Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe in their lineup, the distance between them and the rest of the league might close even further by the end of the season.

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