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Mastercard Soundtrack Trophies






Marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of rugby, the 2023 Rugby World Cup meant more than ever before. We partnered with Octagon and Made By Doing to create the Soundtrack Trophy and preserve this chapter in rugby's history through beats and melodies. 

Together with emerging French musicians and producers, we transform the 80-minute match into a unique soundtrack tailored for the player of the match for all 48 matches of the Rugby World Cup, and delivering them on a custom-designed 'soundtrack trophy' within minutes of each match final whistle.

Background →

The third and latest iteration of Mastercard’s Player Of The Match trophies would be the most ambitious yet.

We’d broke new ground with laser-etching in 2019, and changed the game with audio in 2022, but the 2023 edit would explore a new, musical realm.

A trophy embedded with a custom-designed speaker and electronics, with a song made especially for the recipient.

Building on our experience crafting the 2022 Player Of The Match trophies, we would be applying some learnings about the design of the trophy, but completely redesigning the workflow to accommodate multiple artists and creatives, and work rapidly to craft live musical pieces.

A modern take on the troubadour tradition of lyric poetry featuring emerging French artists.

Acclaimed music producer Surkin was tapped to bring together the talents of Songø, an international collective known for their fusion of Afropop and soul, and Philippine, a rising star in the French singer-songwriter scene. Together, their work would form the musical foundation for songs we would create in real-time for each match.

Approach →

A cross-border collaboration to bring a single shared vision to life.

The Rugby World Cup would be played in Paris, but our production team was based halfway across the world in Melbourne, Australia. Other members of the team were working in New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, France, whilst Mastercard were based out of New York. With a truly collaborative nature, we worked hand-in-hand with a global team to bring the idea into reality.

An elegant workflow that seamlessly integrated people at each step of the process: rugby fans, artists, producers, editors and stadium staff.

With just 80 minutes to produce each track, we knew that nailing the workflow would be critical. Our creative and technical teams workshopped the workflow with everyone who would be involved to design a solution that worked. From there, we set out designing a web-based platform to enable the action.

Our software solution would be built from the ground up...

the macallan kinetic sculpture

...pulling in multiple live broadcast feeds from World Rugby and allowing our team to create highlight snippets on the fly.

To ensure we delivered the final track on the trophy in time for the post-match presentation, it was critical that we had full control in extracting highlights from the live broadcast. This process would require deep collaboration with the World Cup’s streaming partner, Sony, to ensure access to stable and private streams in specific formats.

These exciting commentary moments would be woven in amongst the artist’s performance to tell the story of the match.

Part of this system would be a feature to sort and arrange highlights whilst the game was unfolding, which would enable artists to feed off the energy of the commentary to write their lyrics. To ensure brand safety, our system would also include an integrated approval process that allowed Mastercard and World Rugby to give final approval.

With consideration to acoustics, we partnered with industrial designers to embed our technology into the trophy.

Working closely with industrial designers natascha.sacha, we integrated our custom electronics and speaker into their beautiful trophy design, which was inspired by French luxury fashion houses and included rugby motifs. In addition, our team produced the final artwork files for the embossed text elements of each trophy, which included the Player Of The Match’s name.

Game Day: Creative Implementation →

Our team met together in Paris, where we would compile the songs in a state-of-the-art recording studio.

The first matches of the World Cup were created remotely, with our team operating out of our Melbourne studio, collaborating with the rest of the team in the UK and France. For the finals series, our team convened in Paris to work directly with the artists.

Lyrics written on the fly and recorded during the game, all based on the match as it was unfolding.

Recording artists SONGO and Philippine wrote and recorded their lyrics in both English and French, while our team clipped match highlights and brought them into our shortlisting platform. Studio producer James Cook manned the mixing desk, recording and mixing vocals at a rapid pace so we could incorporate them into the final mix.

Each track featured five key layers: music, vocals, commentary, live crowd ambience and fan messages.

At times, the roar of the crowd made it difficult to clearly hear the commentators. For this reason, we integrated an alternate broadcast feed into our platform that featured the commentator’s voices exclusively. This allowed us to then layer crowd ambience separately in the mix to make sure the commentator’s were clearly heard over the music and the crowd, whilst still authentically reflecting that live atmosphere.

The final track for each match was then uploaded to the trophy.

When we got the green tick, the song was uploaded to our platform and embedded into the Player Of The Match trophy, which was located at the stadium. After a final listen-through, the trophy was delivered to the much-deserving recipient.

Lift the trophy in celebration to trigger the audio.

We designed sensors that were built into the trophy. When they detected that the trophy had been lifted, the audio would be played - a special surprise for the recipients and those around them.

Results →

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