Fans applaud as Microsoft sponsors a very deep hole

How do you turn a sports sponsorship into a worldwide brand-building hit? Dig a hole that goes right through the world—or use technology to make it seem like you did.

Official technology sponsor of the British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia, Microsoft asked us to help them promote the sponsorship and demonstrate “bringing people closer together”. Drawing on the mining history of Australia and Wales, we suggested they dig a virtual hole in the world from Cardiff to Melbourne, where the games would happen. Installing Microsoft Skype inside two giant pipe-like structures set in two public squares, we connected fans usually separated by 17,097km and 200 years of rivalry. Fans from either side could look down the hole, heckle each other, sing, cheer or wave.

By the tour’s end, the virtual hole had attracted over 32,600 visitors, 4 million social media impressions and 50 million views via news broadcasts. Using creativity, technology and brand, Microsoft maximized the value of their sponsorship.

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