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2019 Silver Best B2B


Agency: Ogilvy London

Client: IBM

Campaign Name: ​Can AI help a grass-roots football club raise its game?

Campaign Overview

Ogilvy London and IBM joined forces with lowly Leatherhead FC to prove IBM Watson’s worth to a business audience that includes elite clubs.


Gaining share in AI B2B is integral to IBM’s strategy, but challenges abound.

There’s a limited understanding of AI, and fierce competition - not least from Google and Amazon.

Ogilvy London’s demonstrated IBM Watson, its AI solution, in a football context.

If business leaders could be reached in their personal lives, as fans, the positive experience could influence their perceptions of IBM at work.

Meanwhile IBM could also target prospects, not least elite football clubs.


IBM Watson worked with a struggling grass-roots football club, Surrey-based Leatherhead FC, providing access to AI and cutting-edge data analytics.

These have largely been the preserve of Premier League clubs rather than a team in the seventh tier of English football.

Leatherhead FC was in dire straits, with no manager, two players and a massive fine eating into its budget. As the 2018-19 season kicked off, a new manager and coach began working with IBM Watson.

The AI solution analysed film footage of each match, from set pieces to possession and pass types to formation.

Insights helped players raise their game.

Matches were planned using social media insights about the opposition.

Natural language processing made communication with IBM Watson easy, e.g.: “Show our shots against Bognor please, IBM Watson.”


There has been a 33% increase in familiarity with IBM Watson.

Additionally, +36% shift in relevance of the platform and doors opened to prospects.

Talks have been held with two English Premier League clubs and other clubs in Europe.

The Team

Cheryl Clarke, Brand and Advertising Manager UKI, IBM - Kate Taylor, UKI Corporate Advertising, IBM - Andrew Watkins, UKI Corporate Advertising, IBM - Joe Pavitt, IBM Master Inventor, IBM - Andre Laurentino, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy London - James Sexton, Creative Director, Ogilvy London - Matt Williams, Creative Director, Ogilvy London - Charlie Wilson, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy London - Justin Cairns, Head of Production, Ogilvy London - Julie Featherstone, Senior Designer, Ogilvy London - Dimitar Stoyanov, Account Director, Ogilvy London - Jonathan Murphy, Account Manager, Ogilvy London - Nina Mynk, Strategy Partner, Ogilvy London - Gareth Richards, Managing Partner, Ogilvy London - Daleep Dehal, Business Director - David Lee, Account Executive, Ogilvy London - Steve Williams, Creative, Ogilvy London - Natasha Freedman, Creative, Ogilvy London



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