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SMARTWiG, powered by The Star

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The Star, Sydney’s top entertainment resort, want to be famous for taking great sporting experiences and making them even better. With its 24 hour sports bar, sports events, on ground activations for VIP’s it is fully immersed in the world of sport.

The State of Origin is Australia’s Super Bowl. It is the most sponsored event in the country with every single moment and asset “owned” by a brand. And of course many of these brands have budgets that far exceeded the comparatively meagre spend of The Star.

Combining this brand and competitive insight agency Bashful established its strategy; don’t buy media, turn its Blatchy’s Blues fans into the media and in turn make watching Origin even better for the fans.


Making the star the most talked about sponsor on Origin night was never going to be easy.

First; The Star had been given the Blatchys Blues, Australia’s largest supporter group. While this was quite an honour, it felt a little removed from the main event, the game itself.

Second; the Blatchys Blues were in decline with several years of negative attendance growth. They had been a grassroots movement made famous by the original blue wigs but the novelty was wearing off.

Third; The Star was looking to brand a grassroots supporter group, a fraught exercise. It had to be done in a way that added true value and felt authentic to the customs of the tribe.

Its guiding strategic principle: breathe new life into a tiring property by transforming the game viewing experience in an authentic, branded way. 


The Blatchys Blues, Australia’s largest supporter group are famous for their iconic blue wig but it’s resonance and novelty factor had been waning for several years. If The Star was going to refresh and reenergise the Blatchys Blues as both a supporter group and a sponsorship opportunity it needed to revolutionise the thing that made the group famous, their blue wig!

Introducing the world’s first SMARTWiG, powered by The Star.

Under the hood of this familiar icon is a serious upgrade. It connects Blatchys to an exclusive radio station featuring six hours of SMARTWiG content hosted by Blues legends Fletch and Hindy. Hosts talked with fans, experts, and even got into the NSW Blues' locker room to hear from the head coach just before kick off! This show could only be heard through the SMARTWiG.

Each wig was remotely controlled and fitted with a mysterious LED antenna. When the lights went down at the pre-game show, the agency sent out a signal that switched on LED lights in 12,000 SMARTWiG antennas, transforming the sell out crowd into a massive light up billboard for The Star.


It made 12,000 SMARTWiGs and sold them all. This was double the number of wigs sold the year previous.

SMARTWiG generated $5.5 million worth of free media, including features on national TV, national radio, the front page of Australia’s most popular national newspaper and dozens of press and online articles Australia wide.

The campaign delivered more than 3.5 million unique, media impressions with Australian’s watching the spectacle on live TV. Most importantly this fame led to an extraordinary increase in its two campaign KPI’s according to a campaign review conducted by Nielsen.

Among origin fans exposed to the campaign, positive sentiment toward The Star increased from 24% up to an extraordinary 58%.

And there was a whopping 67% uplift in past four weeks visitation among origin fans.

These numbers exceeded expectations and prove that if you can provide great, entertaining experiences fans will reward you with attention, positivity and venue visitation.

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The Star Entertainment Group
May - June 2017
Media Channel:
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