Chevrolet’s sponsorship with English giants Manchester United is the biggest in football, but Adam Nelson, of Soccerex, our editorial partner, discovers that both sides are working hard to ensure a significant social impact as well as a financial one.
For the second season in a row, Chevrolet brought 11 children aged between 8 and 14 from underprivileged areas in India, Thailand, China, Brazil and the United States to spend a week in Manchester, staying at the renowned Hotel Football with their families.
During the week, they toured the city, spent time with club legends, watched the team train before, finally, walking out on the pitch as mascots with their footballing heroes for the home game with United’s arch-rivals Liverpool.
It is the most high-profile piece of activation around Chevrolet FC and its “Beautiful Possibilities” programme, the social development initiative established by the carmaker at the outset of its partnership with United, intended to use football and “the power of play” to improve living conditions in some of the world’s most underdeveloped areas.
“First and foremost, this is about getting soccer to the children that need it most,” says John Gasoli, senior manager of the global marketing for Chevrolet. “It’s the idea that play becomes this enabler, or that play is what turns possibilities into reality. All you have to do is give a ball to a kid and the possibilities are endless.”
The process occurs hand in hand with the worldwide commercial development of Chevrolet.
“We try to find children who embody this idea of the passion of play and how play has made an impact in their lives,” says Gasoli. “We invite them to Manchester and we share their stories with our followers. You talk about a once in a lifetime moment! They might not become a footballer, but they might grow up to become a teacher and inspire the next generation of kids, or to find a way to bring something back into their community.”
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