Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a leader in global payment services and new Global Partner of the UEFA Europa League, and the Western Union Foundation, today announced they will turn every successful pass in this season’s competition into funding to support one day’s education for young people around the world.
Called PASS, the initiative will be fronted by former international football star Patrick Vieira and start during the Group Stage of the UEFA Europa League Season 2012/13, which kicks off on September 20 across Europe. The initiative aims to reach one million school days over the next three seasons and builds on the work the company has already done to support education globally.
Co-created with its agency of record 180 Amsterdam, PASS can be seen on wu-pass.org.
Said 180’s Executive Creative Director Al Moseley: “We thought about partnership in a different way. Instead of a corporate badging exercise, we wanted to create a scheme that would make a real difference to young people's lives around the globe, and create something meaningful that would leave a legacy that would be felt long after the tournament had finished. Football has historically given a select few people the chance of a better life, this idea will mean that football now improves the lives of the many.”
“Moving money for better is at the heart of what we do, and education is one of the main reasons our customers send money” said Hikmet Ersek, Western Union President and CEO. “According to UNESCO, 71 million bright, hardworking students globally are not enrolled in secondary or vocational education. It’s a tremendous loss of economic and human potential, since each extra year of school can increase an individual’s potential economic opportunity. Through PASS, we intend to harness the power of football to build awareness of this challenge as well as deliver on-the-ground support that will make a difference to young people and their communities.”
The initiative will provide teacher training and student scholarships through nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), with an initial focus on eleven countries – Brazil, China, Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Romania, Russia and Turkey.
“Where I come from, opportunities for a quality education are rare,” explained Vieira the former AS Cannes, AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Juventus, FC Internazionale Milano, Manchester City FC and French international player, who was born in Senegal before moving to France at the age of eight and is currently football development executive at Manchester City FC.
“Football was my ticket to success, but for the vast majority of young people education is the key that allows them to become whatever they want to be. That’s why I’m supporting this campaign. It will benefit students, teachers and schools across the world, particularly in places that need it most, like Senegal where I was born,” said Vieira.
Through the UEFA Europa League’s global audience, football fans from Africa, the Americas, Asia as well as Europe, will also be given the chance to add to the fund during the season through a range of online and social media mechanics.
David Taylor, CEO of UEFA Events S.A., commented: “As well as being broadcast to fans in over 200 countries, European football is the aspiration for many players around the world and last season players representing 113 different countries were involved in the UEFA Europa League. Through Western Union’s PASS initiative, some of those players will be able to give something back to their hometown communities beyond simply the excitement and entertainment they create on the pitch.”
Project name: Pass
Client: (name and job title of client): Western Union
Brief (in one line): Use WU’s sponsorship of the UEL to elevate the brand and engage with football fans to gives WU a unique place in their hearts and minds.
Creative agency: 180 Amsterdam
Creative Directors: Al Moseley, ECD and Dean Maryon, CD
Copywriter: Bryan Stewart
Art director: Ed Ryder
Account Director: Cecile Desmarest
Agency Producer: Susan Cook
Media spend: None
Director/ Production Company: Steve Bendelack
Producer: Martin Box
Production company: Hungry Man
Editor: Alaster Jordan (Whitehouse)
Post Production: Whitehouse Offline Glassworks Amsterdam Online
Sound Design: Alex Nichols-Lee