European national associations have been rewarded for marketing excellence at a workshop in Paris held under the auspices of UEFA's Knowledge & Information Sharing Scenario (KISS) – the programme in which FAs exchange expertise for the overall improvement of European football.
The KISS marketing workshop celebrated excellence in what is a crucial area of modern-day football, given the way marketing can bring an identity to a national team, club or fan base.
For the first time, KISS recognised outstanding projects with a KISS Marketing Award.
Here are the winners and their stories:
Best social media campaign: Danish Football Association (DBU)
The DBU's Football Feeling video was part of an international promotion campaign for last summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship final round in Denmark. The video turned an ordinary U15 game into a major competition match. The DBU used fans, music, national team jerseys and advertising boards in the video, which also featured Denmark winger Martin Jørgensen as a mascot. The resulting video launched on YouTube registered 90,852 hits in the first 24 hours, half a million within a week and listings in more than 40 countries.
Best loyalty programme: French Football Federation (FFF)
The Emotion Bleue loyalty scheme was launched by the FFF on 29 March and is specific to the men's, women's and youth national teams. Its priorities are to recognise, reward and secure the loyalty of the fan, to develop the FFF image and business relations, as well as to increase customer knowledge through FFF-to-fan interaction.
Best brand strategy: Football Association of Wales (FAW)
The FAW created its own new invigorating brand to capture the spirit of Welsh football. The brand was inaugurated at the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England in Cardiff last March. An extensive communications campaign delivered a stadium full to its 72,000 capacity. Also sold out was the newly branded FAW hospitality club – named Club 1876 after the FAW's year of foundation. The FAW membership scheme has since welcomed an additional 50,000 members.
Best sponsorship activation: Swedish Football Association (SvFF)
Energifonden (The Energy Fund) is a joint programme created by the SvFF and national energy provider E.On. The SvFF encourages the development of football clubs at grassroots level in the more rural areas. Initially this work focused on infrastructure development, but in time it became clear that operating costs, in particular electricity, were making it hard to achieve the association's "club in every village" vision. Consequently, the Energy Fund was born and to date it has sponsored some 113 clubs, many of which estimate an annual energy saving of 40–50%. This means more resources for player and club development. And because of reduced costs, some clubs can stay open for their community through the winter months.
Best fan promotion: Football Association (FA)
The England Fan Fair was a joint venture by the FA and lead England sponsor Vauxhall. This initiative took place before the EURO qualifier against Wales at Wembley in September. Directly outside the stadium, the five-a-side centre was converted into a fan zone for three hours before the game. The event was by invitation to ticket holders, with a special focus on the stadium's family enclosure, to enable children to absorb the pre-match atmosphere as well as a wide range of exciting activities, such as speed-kick, face painting, inflatable pitches, competitions, street dancing, England fan membership registration and photo opportunites with Fabio Capello.
Special award from the jury: Polish Football Federation (PZPN)
In recognition of new initiatives and creativity, the jury presented a special award to the PZPN. Its remarkable progress towards a new brand concept, as well as the development of a loyalty programme for supporters, was felt to be deserving of special acknowledgement and credit.
Special mentions also went to:
• German Football Association (DFB) for initiatives in referee loyalty and women's football development.
• Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) for innovative approach in segmentation of target group.
• Israel Football Association (IFA) for integrated marketing campaign to music.
• Football Association of Ireland (FAI) for most professional and high-level marketing awards entry and the enthusiasm with which it embraced KISS's marketing awards initiative.
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