Time To Play

Bleacher Report

2023 Nominee ✨
  • Best Short-Form Video


All football fans remember how past World Cups have been embellished with iconic adverts by Nike, adidas and more, celebrating the game’s best players with memorable storytelling. For the 2022 World Cup, we wanted to contribute to the long-lasting culture of the tournament with our own piece so we created our own hype tape.

Our motif was ‘Time To Play’, aiming to capitalize on the child-like excitement we knew would be felt across the whole world as the tournament was about to kick off. And thus, we quickly settled on the idea, inspired by Toy Story, of the world’s best players as toys, coming to life to play a pick-up game around a child’s bedroom.

How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

'Time to Play' helped kick off a World Cup season for B/R Football, which maintained the brand as one of the most engaged in the world for soccer fans during the most critical time for soccer fans. It also resonated across the soccer world with many of its top athletes engaging with the video.



B/R Football is the definitive destination for today’s football fan and one of the top 5 most-engaged sports brands on social media with 36 million cross-platform followers on social, more than 200 million video views, and 125 million engagements per month. In 2022 the brand B/R recorded over 1.75 billion video views and 1 billion engagements.

The team produces unmatched social content, mixing original short-form animation with leading social graphic treatments that continually entertain and test audiences. By creating content tailored to each social platform, B/R Football remains a unique and authentic destination that rings true with fans.

The World Cup presented the biggest stage for the brand and a moment to connect with fans as only it can. With this in mind, the B/R Football team set out to create a standout piece of content to kick off the event and let the world know that B/R Football was the place to be throughout the tournament.

Strategy & Execution

The most important element to produce this piece was identifying an animator, and there was only one choice: Mark Cannataro and his 3D brilliance. For the original soundtrack, we enlisted Mike Monson, referencing those iconic ads of the past. Mike delivered a track that perfectly fitted the mood and also left us humming along for days.

The script begins with a reference to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s long-running GOAT rivalry, before the child leaves the room and the magic begins. We worked on over ten drafts of the ‘moment’ where the toys come to life, knowing that those first seconds were crucial to hook you into the magic of the story. Once Neymar is introduced, you’re in for the ride, with a sweeping camera shot that sets up the story.

We’re always looking to pack cultural references into our content, and FIFA-cover star Kylian Mbappe loading up a PS5 beside his Ninja Turtle lookalike Michaelangelo gave us exactly that.

Next came the speedsters, and what would end up becoming the most challenging scene.

In an unwitting act of prescience, we foretold Harry Kane’s penalty miss against France, much to the amusement of our followers in the comments.


  • Bleacher Report


Lee Walker
Sr. Director B/R Football Brand Strategy
Bleacher Report

Sam Maitland
Head of Content, B/R Football
Bleacher Report

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