Gamification of everyday life saw over 205K participants take more than 13 billion steps
Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) and Saudi Esports Federation (SEF)’s efforts to bridge gaming with physical activity and to keep people fit, active, and healthy have been lauded for their originality and creativity.
The year-long efforts have been recognized at one of the Middle East’s leading awards ceremonies. The SFA and SEF, formerly the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS), have scooped gold for the best e-sports campaign at the 2021 Sport Industry Awards, the Middle East’s official celebration of leaders, decision-makers and organizations contributing to the development of regional sports. The Federations won the accolade for their innovative “Move to Game” initiative.
“Move to Game” saw the two entities collaborate to launch a unique new Saudi platform to promote the gamification of physical activity. The platform was launched during the COVID-19 outbreak to encourage safe physical activity at home. A comprehensive supporting campaign combined on-ground activations with virtual offerings in a hybrid model, bringing games and physical activity together in compelling new ways.
The entities organized games, activities, and challenges at SARENA eSports centers in collaboration with other sports federations. Live classes, quizzes, and other games were part of the fun. These combined with a strong virtual offering comprising multiple fitness challenges, steps goals, and community sports groups challenges.
“Move to Game” successfully disseminated a regular flow of creative multimedia content to its audiences while also relying on influencers to increase campaign awareness. It reached out across multiple social media channels, including Twitter and Instagram, and also took advantage of dedicated apps and website landing pages to engage people.
“The recognition of Move To Game’s influence, reach, and most importantly, real-world impact on physical fitness in Saudi and the wider GCC is a landmark moment for the Sports for All Federation. Together with our valued partners at the Saudi Esports Federation, we used this as a vehicle to spark the interest of gamers nationwide and engage the country when it was most needed — during the COVID-19 crisis. I applaud our colleagues at the Saudi sports federations who participated online and offline, as well as the numerous sports community groups that participated in making the joint activation a resounding success,” said HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, SFA President.
“The Saudi Esports Federation champions the potential of Saudi youth and knows how well they react to challenges and competition. With “Move to Game”, we’ve taken the same spirit of challenge, togetherness and commitment that we see in the world of e-sports, and brought it to the real world. There is clear link between physical activity and e-sports performance, and having the virtual and physical worlds co-existing side by side in exciting ways led to a very engaged audience and a buzz that created participation. We thank the Saudi Sports for All Federation for partnering with us to engage young people in new ways, and applaud all the young people, federations and local bodies who came together to make this campaign successful, said HRH Prince Faisal Bin Bandar Bin Sultan Al Saud, Saudi Esports Federation President.
Collectively, the “Move to Game” program involved 15 sports federations, and 50 community sports groups. It generated over one million engagements, resulting in 103,000 plus participants across 33 challenges and 220 stage classes. Together, participants logged over 12.8 billion steps in a triumph for physical activity and health.
The campaign was chosen as the 2021 Sport Industry Awards winner in its category for its creativity, and for demonstrating tangible results in raising awareness, driving participation and creating a successful overall initiative.
Effective communication across multiple channels saw strong outreach to all segments of society. The initiative succeeded in gamifying everyday life, with prize distributions, rewards and loyalty programs. The breadth of challenges, both on the ground and virtual, combined with live sports and gaming shows to draw a strong audience response. “Move to Game” also raised awareness of the Kingdom’s various sports foundations, and shone a spotlight on local community sports groups.
The Move to Game campaign was a successful example of the SFA’s collaborative approach towards creating a health-first mindset in Saudi Arabia. Apart from Saudi Esports Federation, the SFA collaborates with other local and national entities to support its mission — Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing and the Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA), to achieve its goal of a healthier, more active Saudi Arabia.
Move to Game was an important milestone in the SFA’s commitment to the Quality of Life program mandated in the Saudi Vision 2030. The Quality of Life program calls for increasing the number of people undertaking regular physical activity in the Kingdom to 40% by 2030. The Federation is helping meet this target by facilitating sporting opportunities and initiating campaigns encouraging exercise.