Serviceplan Switzerland and ZSC Lions – unusual campaign and unusual gift to thank fans for their loyalty during the Pandemic

Ads, Advertising, Guerilla, Marketing

Covid-19 prevented sports fans around the world from attending their favorite teams’ matches, and in March 2020 the Swiss government banned fans from going to sports events in response to the pandemic. Consequently, more than 4,000 fans of Zurich’s ZSC Lions ice hockey team held season tickets for games they could no longer see live.

Since the fans couldn’t go to the ice, ZSC Lions partnered with Serviceplan Suisse to bring the game to the fans. The result was ‘Essence of Lions’, a unique memento of this “silent season” of 2020/ 2021 conceived to thank fans for their support and anticipate their return to the stadium.  With the mantra ‘When the world freezes, melt’, “Essence of Lions” was born – 15ml of ZSC history in the form of a bottle of water made by melting ice from the ZSC rink where the team played its 20/21 season in the Hallenstadion without spectators. The symbolic gift was mailed to fans and led them to a page on the club’s website. A film explained the gift alongside additional content of players and management reflecting on the past year and looking forward to being reunited with their fans.  

 As is the case for many sports clubs, season-ticket sales form an integral part of the ZSC Lions’ funding. The “Essence of Lions” giftpack inspired fans to renew their tickets for the next season. And although the small bottles were intended as a collectible memento, that didn’t stop the club inventing a host of fantastical uses for the water they contained, from baptising baby ZSC Lions fans to reviving dead house plants, cleansing rooms of evil spirits, and polishing trophies.

Raul Serrat, Serviceplan Switzerland Chief Creative Officer commented: “With a few icy drops, this project warmed the hearts of fans in difficult times. As a creative, this is what I take the most pride in: creating work that inspires and reminds people of what really matters to them.”


Agency: Serviceplan Switzerland
Client: ZSC Lions
Title: Essence of Lions

Responsible at ZSC:
Chief Marketing Officer: Roger Gemperle
Marketing & Sponsoring Manager: Louis Huber

Responsible at Serviceplan Suisse:
Chief Creative Officer: Raul Serrat
Chief Creative Officer: Pam Hügli
Executive Creative Directors: Marcin Baba and Micha Seger
Creative Director: Michael Kathe
Copywriter: Henry Clarke, Peter Liptak
Art Direction: Nadja Tandler and Tizian Lienhard
Account: Nicolas Gspan
FFF/Art Buying: Nathalie Jakober
Production: Carmen Anderegg, Denise Goldmann

Responsible at Signorell GmbH:
Film director: Riccardo Signorell
Director of Photography: Luca Keller
Camera Assistant – DIT: Gian Kober
Lighting: Oliver Geissler
Direction Team B: Giorgi Sakhhelashvili
Camera Team B: Manolo Zacate
Film Assistant: Neel Sandel

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