HCF Heart of the Swans

Custom wristbands visualise sports passion through live heartbeat data.

  • Sydney, Australia
  • 5k

HCF Heart of the Swans was an interactive data visualisation designed to bring the connection between sport and health to life. Created in partnership with HCF and Bastion EBA, the digital marketing activation saw 5,000 AFL fans given heart rate monitoring wristbands to wear during a Sydney Swans match. We then used real time data from these wristbands to create a unified fan heartbeat in real time, creating a stunning data visualisation of their collective passion and excitement live on the field.

Data visualisation of fan passion in real time

The Brief
Sydney Swans AFL game at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

HCF is Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund, and long-standing health insurer of the Sydney Swans. As part of this sponsorship, HCF wanted to share their passion for AFL while starting conversations about healthy lifestyles. To do this, we worked with Bastion EBA to create a world-first digital marketing activation that would visualise the passion of Swans fans live on the field.

HCF Heart of the Swans saw the health fund distribute 5,000 heart monitoring wristbands to a stadium of Sydney Swans fans. These wristbands were designed to read each fan’s heartbeat throughout the game. This heartbeat data would then be collated into a unified heartbeat that we could share with fans throughout the game with a large-sale data visualisation on screens throughout the stadium.

Capturing heartbeat data

Data Capture

In order to achieve this, we designed and produced over 5,000 wristbands with built-in Bluetooth-enabled oximeters. These oximeters were used to measure the individual heart rates of fans throughout the AGL game. This data was then sent over an ANT+ bluetooth bridge and microwave wi-fi link to a central server. Here, the data was collated and aggregated to produce a variety of data-driven outputs.

Two men wear heart monitoring wristbands as part of digital marketing agency data visualisation HCF Heart of the Swans.

A stadium-wide light show

LED Lights

Each HCF Heart of the Swans wristband was fitted with 9 SMD LED lights that we could control synchronously using a 433MHz signal capable of reaching the entire stadium. These lights would be triggered to flash pre-programmed data visualisation sequences on all wristbands across the stadium during specific events during the game, such as a goal or behind.

Heart monitoring wristband from HCF Heart of the Swans data visualisation by digital marketing agency S1T2.

Once the heartbeat data was aggregated, we also triggered the wristbands to flash in unison according to the unified heartbeat of fans. By visualising the stadiums’ collective heartbeat on fans’ wrists throughout the game, the digital marketing activation linked fan excitement with health in a stunning visual display.

Sydney Swans AFL fan wears HCF Heart of the Swans heart monitoring wristband made by digital marketing agency.

Sharing stress + success

Data Visualisation
Stadium screen at Sydney Cricket Ground shows large-scale heartbeat data visualisation created by digital marketing agency for HCF Heart of the Swans.

We also showed fans their unified heartbeat in real time through large-scale data visualisations on stadium screens at key points throughout the game. These screens were also able to display the flashing heartbeat rhythm on wristbands through broadcast cameras as fans reacted to the game in real time. Together, these different data visualisation displays helped HCF Heart of the Swans celebrate the passion and energy of Sydney Swans fans while promoting better health among all Australians.

Extending into the digital world

Social Integration

Thanks to a partnership with Bastion EBA, Match Media and We Buchan, HCF Heart of the Swans was also amplified beyond the stadium through a dedicated digital marketing campaign. When fans interacted with the #HCFgoswans hashtag across social media, their passion was again visualised with a unified conversation heartbeat displayed live on HCF’s Health Hub.

Sydney Swans fans wear heart monitoring wristbands as part of HCF Heart of the Swans digital marketing activation.

Inspiration led innovation


Overall, the HCF Heart of the Swans experience gave the health fund a unique opportunity to showcase their sponsorship of the Swans to AFL fans. But, more importantly, it also demonstrated HCF’s forward-thinking and innovation in healthcare. Indeed, lighting up the Sydney Cricket Ground in a display of collective passion served as a moving visual representation of the crowd’s excitement as it happened.

The activation enabled us to highlight and celebrate the incredible enthusiasm and energy of AFL fans… It gave a unique experience that links together their passion for the game and their health.

Jenny Williams
HCF Chief Marketing Officer

The initial roll out of the data visualisation activation was visible to forty thousand fans, while also gaining significant media attention with features in Campaign Brief and Mumbrella, and promotion from key television and athletic influencers. The associated digital marketing campaign then continued throughout the AFL season, with social media engagement, sponsorship assets and user generated content.

Sydney Swans fans show off heart monitoring wristbands for HCF Heart of the Swans digital marketing activation.
Fans at AFL game.

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