The Day the Stadium Shook: Nike Tests Seimosgraphic Activity in Argentina
Can soccer fans cause an earthquake? The sports brand and BBDO Argentina investigate.By: Shareen Pathak, Published: Oct 13, 2012
Fact, or fake? The fans of Argentine soccer team Boca Jr. are so passionate, they make a stadium tremble, scaring away their rivals.
BBDO Argentina and Nike set out to find out.
In an experiment, the agency and sports giant placed a digital seismograph that received signals from four accelerometers underneath the stands at the Estadio del Bicentenario, a new soccer stadium in San Juan, Argentina. The goal was to see where on the Richter scale fan activity registered. vibration they created
The seismograph was installed during this year's final on August 8, during which teams Boca and Racing faced off. San Juan was picked because it is considered, according to the agency, the "seismic capital of Argentina"--not that that would skew results, or anything.
Magnitude of Earthquake Proportions?
The biggest challenges of the campaign were to "carry out the plan in reality, not just as an idea left on paper," said BBDO's Alejandro Gowland. "Although the technology already existed, it had never been adapted and used on a sporting event, not to mention an event of this magnitude." To make sure it was doable, the agency held sessions with geological experts to make sure they could adapt the technology for their use.
Working with production company Sake Argentina, the agency led a team of 15 technicians and producers, including a seismographic specialist. The four accelerometers below the stands were connected through a microwave network. An app translated the vibrations created by fans' cheers, stomping and other fan activity into their equivalent on the Richter scale.
To promote the event, BBDO also ran a special supplement in the major sports paper, Ole, which had a picture of the game intentionally blurred, and a timeline showing the movement of the stadium during the 90 minutes. The first goal of the game, scored by Boca Jr., had a reading of 6.4 on the Richter scale. If that was a real earthquake, it may have "provoked severe damage in populated areas" according to Richter standards. The second goal -- which won the team the Cup -- measured 6.2.
Nike Futbol obviously has a thing for stadiums. During last year's Copa Argentina, the brand ran a spot out of BBDO where "the voice of the stadium" delivered a rousing message to soccer players from Boca Jr.