Sydney digital creative agency SLIK has attracted the attention of UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organisation, which has appointed it to develop a new global fan engagement platform.
SLIK, which was founded by Cooper LaPlanche and Kyle Bennett in 2012 and counts Qantas, Suncorp, Nine and Afterpay as clients, was selected by the Las Vegas-based UFC following a competitive four-way pitch against U.S. digital agencies.
Experienced creative Simon Jarsoz (main photo), who worked on the pitch and travelled to Las Vegas, Nevada to help secure the business, has also been appointed by the independent Redfern based agency as its first executive creative director.
UFC is a premium global sports brand, media content company and the largest pay-per-view event provider in the world.
SLIK will build a fan engagement platform titled ‘UFC Staredown’ where fans will go head to head against their favourite UFC fighters in a digital environment. The platform will include cutting-edge facial recognition and AI technology to create a unique, personalised experience where the fan must stare down the fighter in a face to face psych out. If the fan can match the fighter’s intensity, they will receive a high score and bragging rights. This free experience will live on UFC.com/connect and will go live prior to UFC244: Masvidal vs. Diaz, which takes place on Sunday, November 3.
Speaking about the win, SLIK co-founder Kyle Bennett said: “Stepping into the Octagon and onto the international stage to work with UFC is a huge thrill. What’s even more satisfying is that as an independent Australian digital creative agency, with a team of 25, we took on larger competition in the US and won.”
Newly installed ECD, Jarsoz, is an award winning creative with more than 20 years’ experience working in advertising and design. A former head of AWARD School, he joins SLIK after more than three years as national creative director at Mediacom and has also worked at JWT, M&C Saatchi, The Monkeys and was digital creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi.
SLIK co-founder Cooper LaPlanche said: “We’ve been focused on bolstering our creative team with world-class talent and leadership and Simon’s background as a digital creative, plus his experience and understanding of how digital can deliver real results for our clients’ business needs, make him the perfect fit for SLIK.”
Jarosz added: “It’s an exciting time for our industry as we continue to see digital being the larger investment for businesses and, more than ever, the need for creative to be more deeply involved in successful client partnerships. I’m delighted to join a culture that’s always had this philosophy as its core belief, and to be part of the continuing growth and success of this awesome agency.”