NERF signs 'short term' partnerships with Arsenal and Chelsea

17 Nov 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

Toy maker Hasbro has entered into a new ‘short-term project’ with Premier League sides Arsenal and Chelsea as it launches a new product for its brand NERF.

Ahead of the release of the NERF Ultra One Blaster, the brand will embark on a ‘media first’ collaboration with the two clubs in which a number of players will participate in the #NERFUltraChallenge.

According to MediaCom’s Sport & Entertainment division, who brokered and executed the deal, this is the first time that two separate Premier League clubs have collaborated with a brand on a short-term project. In December 2019, Duracell also engaged in a short-term partnership with Chelsea and Amazon to promote a new battery pack ahead of the first English football matches screened on Prime Video.

The Hasbro campaign will see Chelsea stars Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, and Christian Pulisic take part in the NERF challenge alongside Arsenal trio Bukayo Saka, Kieran Tierney, and Eddie Nketiah. 

The challenge will see the players face off in a series of challenges showcasing the unique NERF Ultra One Blaster and will be distributed on Arsenal and Chelsea’s social channels, which have a combined following of 187 million. A paid social and influencer campaign will also run alongside it, in the form of a supporting partnership with football media network COPA90. 

“We’re delighted to have teamed up with Arsenal and Chelsea on this exciting initiative,” said Louisa Parast, Marketing Director at Hasbro UK & Ireland. 

“Given this is the first time we have executed such a campaign, we needed to be certain that the collaboration was not only authentic to the NERF brand but also showcased the product and reached target consumers in a relevant way. We already know the brand has a huge affiliation with sports and given NERF is not only a key player in action based performance toys but also transcends the toy aisle as a lifestyle brand for kids and adults, this piece of activity felt like the perfect fit.”

Peter Silverstone, Arsenal Commercial Director, said: “We’re always looking for innovative and relevant ways to harness and leverage the power of our digital presence. 

“We’re proud to have worked with Hasbro in a first-of-its-kind collaboration to deliver a campaign designed to reach a young, digital-first audience. We are continuing to invest heavily in our digital capabilities to ensure that we can offer a strong environment for brands to move fast, trial different strategies and drive awareness at key moments. 

“With the NERF brand, we are able to create and publish content our fans want to see, which will drive significant engagement for Hasbro across their key markets.” 

Guy Laurence, Chelsea FC CEO, added: “We are excited to be a part of this innovative collaboration with one of the world’s most well-renowned toy brands, NERF. We have no doubt that the campaign, featuring some of the stars of our men’s team, will be warmly received by our global fanbase. This is yet another example of the appetite that leading brands, such as Hasbro, have for the club’s proposition of short-term digital partnerships at key sales moments.”

The collaboration aims to give the brand a social media buzz before the peak Christmas sales time, and will be followed by a second phase in December, ahead of the Boxing Day clash between Arsenal and Chelsea themselves.