We're Back | 6th Hashtag Sports Awards

We're Back

Sela, Newcastle United

The 6th Annual Awards

Nominee ✨
  • Best Brand Experience or Activation
  • Best Branded Content
  • Best Communications Strategy


Newcastle United is the beating heart of a one-club footballing city. Yet, for so long fans were starved of success to shout about.

In 2023, NUFC were returning to the UEFA Champions League after 20 years; now with Sela, a dynamic creator of spectacular experiences and iconic destinations, as their front of shirt sponsor.

With fans filled with anticipation, Sela surprised all by staging a UK-first: an awe-inspiring, football-themed drone show above the iconic St. James’ Park stadium on the eve of their return.

The content truly resonated, concluding with drones forming a statement to bring fans excitement and confidence: ”We’re Back”.

Millions engaged globally, with ‘spectacular’ reviews from football fans, stakeholders and institutions. Content reached 1 billion+ people in162 countries, was published by 80+ media outlets and on UEFA and Premier League channels, became an incredible talking point across sport and the community, and helped Sela establish its brand.


How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

The drone show captivated audiences at a local, national and international level, to an extent that is rarely seen in UK football sponsorship. The show not only went viral on social media in the immediate aftermath and full week following the game.

This activation was unique to any other football sponsorship activation in Premier League history. Drone shows are not widely held throughout the United Kingdom alone, making this an innovative and exciting experience for audiences who gathered and saw it across the globe.

However, and more importantly, from a strategic sponsorship perspective the show is part of a plan from Sela from which this is just tip of the iceberg. Sela were able demonstrate how the partnership between NUFC & Sela created value for parties beyond a typical sponsorship dynamic, beyond football, beyond sports and beyond the UK.

Sela see this sponsorship as a strategic initiative that extends beyond a brand exposure platform and business networking opportunity to reaching the hearts and minds of NUFC fans and the Newcastle community both in the city and around the globe.


Drone Show

  • Celebrate NUFC’s return of European football to Newcastle
  • Inspire fans and NUFC players ahead of their return to European football and generate pride in being associated with NUFC
  • Demonstrate Sela’s commitment to enhancing experiences and connection to NUFC and the community
Brand - There are three key brand pillars

Be seen:

  • Showing NUFC and football fans across Europe that Sela is not just a ‘logo’ on a shirt but adds value to their experiences
  • Introducing Sela for the first time to audiences internationally, particularly in the UK and Europe

Be known:

  • Converting awareness amongst NUFC fans and stakeholders into an understanding for Sela’s ‘spectacular’ work
  • Building credibility amongst relevant international audiences for Sela’s proposition

Be loved:

  • Create an army of advocates for Sela and convert awareness and understanding into a desire to see more
  • Generate positive reputations for Sela amongst all target audiences, including fans, the community and media, as part of enabling business growth

Strategy & Execution

48 hours before European football returned to the city, Sela provided a moment for fans, the club and the community to celebrate. For Newcastle, a drone show of this scale had never been done before.

Using 500+ drones, the eight-minute drone show saw NUFC’s magpie mascot soar across the skies before transitioning into the black and white team shirts adorned with the names of Kieran Trippier, Bruno Guimarães and Sandro Tonali. The drones formed to make a statement about Newcastle’s return to the biggest stage in club football: ”We’re Back”. The show concluded with Sela’s ’Spectacular Everyday’ tagline that is seen around St. James’ Park on matchdays.

The content was filmed via drone cameras and in just 12 hours was edited down into two videos. Sela’s social media strategy saw comprehensive outreach and collaboration with the social strategists of some of the biggest football accounts in the world supported by being able to distribute a range of jaw-dropping still imagery and 15 and 60 second videos in 16:9 and 9:16 format.


  • Sela
  • Newcastle United
  • Spectacle Partners
  • CSM


Ibrahim Mohtaseb

Celebrate in NYC

Join us for the 6th Annual Hashtag Sports Awards™ on the evening of June 6, 2024 as we celebrate finalists and reveal the winners of this year's awards live during the show.