Chelsea FC wanted to illustrate the passion of fans in the United States, specifically focused on underrepresented stories in a way that mirrors the Club’s global mission and helps engage audiences.
New York is famous for its cultural diversity, especially when seen through its iconic five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Staten Island. New York is also rife with Chelsea fandom.
World-renowned hip-hop and social justice photographer and soccer content creator, Mel D. Cole, is a native New Yorker and spent nearly his entire adult life in the city.
Given unique fandom in five unique boroughs, we sought to create a content series showcasing this fandom through the lens of five New York City residents. Thus, Chelsea FC: Five Boroughs was born and featured stories of diversity in race and gender. To tell these story appropriately, we turned to Mel D. Cole.
Together with Mel we scouted dozens of locations and protagonists to appropriately tell a holistic Chelsea story. The content mix included first-hand storytelling with each of the fans in their home borough, behind-the-scenes footage of the photoshoot, and unique energy from each New York City borough. Participants explained how they became fans of Chelsea, explained their emotional connection to the club, and how their support is influenced by the personality and flavor of their hometowns.
After content capture, we handled end-to-end content production and secured content distribution with NBC Sports while seeding episodes with several targeted media outlets. The content mix included first-hand storytelling with each of the fans in their home borough, behind-the-scenes footage of the photoshoot, and unique energy from each New York City borough.
The New York City-based series was viewed by millions across digital and social media channels while featuring extensively in stateside PR. On the back of this success, a second series of episodes was produced in 2022 featuring similar fan stories in Los Angeles and Miami.