Everton undergoes Angry Birds makeover

23 Aug 2018

By: Sport Industry Group

Global entertainment company Rovio Entertainment Corporation has teamed up with Everton Football Club to introduce three Premier League stars into the Angry Birds ‘Evolution’ game.

Players Theo Walcott, Cenk Tosun and Gylfi Sigurdsson have undergone an Angry Birds characterisation and will be available as playable characters.

The original activation is the latest in a series of fan engagement initiatives implemented as part of Angry Birds’ partnership with the Toffees.

The brand, which has served as Everton sleeve sponsor since September 2017, has also been running a video series featuring some of the club’s top players on its YouTube channel this summer.

Everton’s partnership with Rovio and Angry Birds is the Finland-based company’s first venture into Premier League football following successful associations with the likes of NASA, Apple, NBA, NFL, McDonalds and Star Wars.

Commenting on relationship, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Everton Football Club CEO, said: “Our innovative partnership with Angry Birds has enabled us to reach a new audience worldwide and gives us exposure in key international markets.

“When we first met we knew there would be synergies in terms of brand, values and ambition and the partnership from our perspective enables Everton to engage with a different audience on a global scale in the digital space.

“Incorporating the characters of Theo, Gylfi and Cenk into the Evolution game is an innovative, tangible and vivid way of bringing our partnership to life.”

Ville Heijari, Rovio chief marketing officer added: “We have previously worked on a number of Angry Birds activities with Everton and their fans and we’re happy to bring our partnership alive in Angry Birds Evolution.”

The activation has also drawn comment from around the sport industry, including

Tom McCormack, head of football at Nielsen Sports, said: “This is an innovative, engaging, developing partnership which creates an opportunity for Rovio to consolidate its global audience through the Premier League’s TV footprint [...] with bespoke content to engage a different demographic and grow the fanbase.”

Chris Daly, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Marketing added: “This initiative between Angry Birds and Everton is original and enterprising from a marketing perspective.

“While there’s clearly great marketing value to both parties through the existing agreements between the brands, going this step further and introducing Premier League players into the game will be exciting and engaging for both Angry Birds and Everton fans and help both parties appeal to new audiences on a global scale.”

Speaking about his Angry Birds makeover, England international Walcott commented: “Angry Birds is one of the biggest names in gaming and I am very happy to be one of the first three football players in the world to have my own personalised playable character.

“It’s been really interesting to work with Rovio to shape my character and see the work that goes on behind the scenes to bring it to life.”

Iceland international Sigurdsson said: “The Rovio team and I wanted my character to represent strength and my Nordic roots and I’m really pleased with the outcome.”

The Angry Birds footballers will be available for players to download for a limited time only in what Rovio describes as an “exclusive transfer window.”