2019 #Morethanfootball Action Weeks Recap
First of all, we would like to thank everyone for their support and contributions throughout what was another successful #Morethanfootball Action Weeks. During the 3 weeks, the European football community celebrated the work they are delivering off the pitch in their local communities and we saw many great activities and initiatives. The campaign again received the support of UEFA Foundation for Children, European Club Association (ECA) and European Football for Development Network (EFDN) and it was amazing to see the numerous ways in which the power of football can change lives for the better being showcased throughout the 3 weeks and continuing beyond.
During the campaign, which ran from the 19th of March to the 9th of April, we saw over 100 clubs, foundations/community trusts, leagues and FA’s from 28 countries participate in a range of activities, launch new projects/initiatives, run online and social media campaigns and communications demonstrating their commitment to their communities and the use of football for social development.
We’ve put together some examples of the activities and events hosted during the 2019 #Morethanfootball Action Weeks below:
2019 #Morethanfootball Activities
Asteras Tripolis FC
Asteras Tripolis FC created a wall that does not “break” with social messages posted by their fans written on the wall (as can be seen in the below photo with their U19 team) along with a number of other activities. As part of the education focus day on the 23rd of March, the club hosted local schools and university for a special visit to their Theodoros Kolokotronis Stadium. The day saw the club welcome kids through to young adults to play football, while experts spoke with the students about the role and the importance of football in our society. During the Asteras v Levadeiakos Greek Super League League game on the 9th of April the =Morethanfootball logo appeared on signs and on the electronic board, while free tickets were offered to women. Also, for the focus day for refugees, the club released a video where Ali Omid, a young Afghan refugee proudly gives us a tour of the club’s infrastructure. See the video here.
PSV Eindhoven held a special match day devoted to the work of the PSV foundation and the More than Football campaign. During their warm-up for their match against PEC Zwolle on the 4th of April, the PSV players wore shirts with the #Morethanfootball logo on the back, while the match mascots also wore the t-shirts. They also kicked off a new initiative ‘FAN of the Match at a distance’, which see’s a first-team player take a robot on to the pitch making it possible for a fan who cannot attend the match due to illness join the line-up, watch the game from the sidelines and join the players after the game during their lap of honour. Striker Luuk de Jong was the player at hand for the inaugural match of the initiative and it will take place at every home game from now on.
To celebrate the 2019 #Morethanfootball Action Weeks, Montrose FC distributed well in excess of 2000 free tickets to community programme participants, for their match against Stenhousemuir. During the pre-match and at the half-time, the club showcased their #Morethanfootball flag displays with their flag bearers also forming a guard of honour for both sets of players and their 11 mascots in #Morethanfootball t-shirts as they appeared from the tunnel. The mascots were made up of participants from the club’s various community programmes with their ages ranging from 2 to 92 years old.
Apollon Limassol FC
Apollon Limassol FC first team players attended a local school to discuss equality, the fight against racism, respect, fair play and school bullying with young pupils and teachers. The young students had the opportunity to present their own experience of how they feel bullying has evolved over the last few years. The players also gave exposure to the campaign by showing the =Morethanfootball banner and wearing =Morethanfootball shirts before the kick off of one of their first team games. Also, throughout the campaign, Apollon systematically used the =Morethanfootball logo for their games posters.
First team players of Legia Warsaw together with Jagiellonia Białystok brought attention to the campaign by showing the =Morethanfootball banner just before the kick-off of their Ekstraklasa game on the 3rd of April. The players of Legia Warsaw also did their warm-up before the match in special shirts supporting #MoreThanFootball campaign. The club then organised an online competition on social media channels in which fans could win the shirts by answering the question: ”Why football is more than football?”
GNK Dinamo Zagreb
During their home game against NK Inter Zaprešić, GNK Dinamo Zagreb’s scoreboards showed the =Morethanfootball logo and the players of both teams held a =Morethanfootball banner before kick off. Also as part of the campaign, ŽNK Dinamo Zagreb (GNK Dinamo Zagreb women’s team) visited Dinamo Power Team, a team of 15 kids with developmental disabilities which has been established since the beginning of the 2018/19 season who train once a week at the Club’s Maksimir Stadium led by the Youth Academy coach and physiotherapists. See the video here.
Red Bull Salzburg
Red Bull Salzburg celebrated the Action Weeks during their home game against Austria Wien on the 31st of March. The highlight of the game being when the players walked out onto the pitch alongside 24 wheelchair users. Both teams took part along with the team of officials to make a clear statement that football has an importance that is much more significant than who wins or loses. As well as the special match day mascots, the LED boards around the pitch were also showing the #Morethanfootball landmark in support of the campaign.
More than Football Labels
Clubs also supported the campaign by creating their own =More than Football labels for adding to images and social media posts etc, see some examples below:
These are just some examples of the activities and initiatives that went on throughout the Action Weeks and there were much more, from clubs doing match day activities, launching new programmes, writing articles on their club websites and matchday programmes, taking part in the #Passiton challenge, running social media campaigns and communications amongst others.
The 2019 #Morethanfootball video challenge was #Passiton which challenged players, fans, coaches and the general audience to share their story on why they believe that football is more than football to promote the power of football to change lives. To spread their #Morethanfootball story, the messages were shared and promoted across various social media channels to reach out to the entire European football family. The initial #Passiton promotional video alone had 293,595 views in total. Thank you all who contributed and took part.
Support from Partners
UEFA Foundation for Children
During both legs of the Champions League and Europa League Quarter-final games, UEFA Foundation for Children showed their logo with the =Morethanfootball logo on LED boards. They also delivered a wide-reaching communication campaign to raise awareness for their different community programmes and supported the focus days such as on World Water Day (March 22) by putting the spotlight on a project called ‘Open Fun Football Schools’ which focuses on the protection of water resources. On the 6th of April for the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, the Foundation showed how they support education in Afghanistan. For the World Health Day (April 7), UEFA Foundation highlighted the ‘Children on the Move Uganda’ project, which helps children uprooted from their homes because of the war to increase their resilience. The Foundation mentioned other projects which aim to overcome separations between the ethnic groups present in ethnically divided schools in Bosnia & Herzegovina for instance. Also, projects which use football to help socially deprived children and offer support for children suffering malnutrition in Venezuela, or support the professional integration of young people in Europe.
European Club Association (ECA)
The ECA used their extensive network of clubs to spread the #Morethanfootball message and raise awareness of the campaign as well as showing their support through their social media channels to reach out to the entire European football family.
European Football for Development Network (EFDN)
The 12th EFDN Conference took place at Stamford Bridge in London on the 26th and 27th of March with #Morethanfootball the theme for the event. The leading event in Community and Social Responsibility in football brought together 150 leading practitioners and experts from around Europe with the #Morethanfootball Action Weeks always a point of discussion. The video from the event can be seen below.
The 2019 #Morethanfootball Action Weeks was a great campaign and we would again like to again thank everyone who took part. However because the impact of football is not limited to a 3 week period, let’s continue showcasing the power of football throughout the year and create a #Morethanfootball movement.
Please note that the Impact Report detailing the full reach and range of activities during the 2019 Action Weeks will be released on the 3rd of June 2019.
Check out the gallery below for some images of other actions throughout the campaign.