Case Study: Fanatico 2014

David Olson of MergeLane Media shares this story of their ministry outreach during the 2014 World Cup.


Here is an update on the work we are doing with mobile tech in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

We have focused on a technology rich experience for our activities during the World Cup. To date we have built and launched:

  1. Website: fanatico2014.com.
    This site is responsive in design and use. We have used video heavily through out. It is in Spanish only as our primary target audience is the Hispanic community across the region.
  2. We have launched 2 apps: one for iPhone/iPad and the other for Android devices.
    We have a significant Twitter feed and my cellphone is inundated with responses and comments. Our Facebook page is the cornerstone of our communication which makes us agile and responsive to the input. We have a team of 5 people working on the management of these activities. We have another two teams that are traveling to the participating countries of Latin America to bring on the spot reports via our Youtube feed to the Facebook page and the webpage from the Fan Zones.
  3. Our target focus activity is the hosting and developing of Fan Zones across the region. These Fan Zones are locations where celebrants of soccer can gather with hundreds and thousands of others to watch on a large screen the current soccer matches. We include contest activities like Canta Gol (cheering the scoring of goals), contests celebrating who is the most fanatic of fanatics, this is shown by knowing when the teams will score, who will score, which team will score the most points etc. We have T-shirts, FIFA soccer balls, etc. to give away. We want to attract as many soccer fanatics as possible in stadiums, churches, plazas, and any where else we can gather people. The feeds for the contests are app based so that anyone with our app can send in their Canta Gol and other submissions with their cellphone or iPad etc. We are mobile intense.
  4. We also have uploaded about 100 videos online, on the website and elsewhere, that are value based and driven. The keystone is our video “The half time of your Life.” We are providing this to our Fan Zone sponsors to play during the half time of the matches. It is values based but asks significant questions to make the attendees thing in spiritual terms. Our goal is to be in your shoes not in your face in our evangelistic outreach. Because we have the contact information from the people who download our apps and connect with Twitter and Facebook we are able to lay the ground work for long term relationships with the participants. We are working of our database of 55,000 opt-in participants and an excess of 1,000,000 Spanish speaking connections.
  5. Our spots for Radio and Television are playing or will be played on 1,600 radio stations and 265 television stations in Latin America for free! We have a legacy of support from ministry relationships that allow this reach in a way that we never thought possible.

So, as you can see, the past two years have been focused on building resources for this 30 day event, with an eye towards life transformation in the people we meet.


During the World Cup, this report came in:

  1. Responses are coming in that astound us! Churches are seeing new guests and visitors that are coming for the very first time. They each, the churches, have built their own strategies for follow-up and we have provided resources for them. On our apps and website we have pages that address life issues through the use of story. There are hundreds of stories in video and written that talk of God connections.
  2. Pastors in Quito and Lima reported that they have standing room only events so we are delighted.

Thank you all for your interest in what we are doing and for being willing to share the story!

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