Unless you were living on the moon for the past few years, the world has come to recognise that athletes are more than just athletes. They are content creators, social activists, educators and business owners. While athletes have evolved from being pure brand ambassadors the practice is still very much in place with endorsement deals playing a part of the athlete marketing mix.
The evolution of what athletes are means an evolution of the brand ambassador role. Brands now look for an inherent message of purpose to drive action. And what’s better than a car brand to do so with the best “driver” in the front seat? We present to you the 2nd article in our campaign review series and this time we look at Kia Motors x Kosovare Asllani: The Asllani Contract.
Our regular readers might recall that we mentioned this campaign in our Sponsorship Activation & Moral Imagination article. However, we wanted to see how it progressed since its launch. Spoiler alert, it has. A lot.
As per its name, The Asllani Contract is a digital contract that football clubs in Sweden sign on a dedicated campaign page on Kia’s website. The aim of a club signing the contract is to allow all children in Sweden the right to play football on equal terms.
The contract is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and promises to deliver on five elements:
- No one should be discriminated against
- Girls and boys should have the same conditions
- Coaches and leaders must and treat all children equally
- Ask children about issues related to elite investment (Developing Future Leaders)
- The best interests of the child must be a primary consideration in all decisions concerning children
Upon launch, seven clubs signed the contract. Six months onwards, 153 clubs are now part of it. According to the Swedish Football Association website, as of 2017, there are 2,997 clubs in the country.
What could make a campaign successful other than a very solid social mission? The ease of joining. To join, clubs simply need to fill a short four fields sign up form (Kia data collection). Once signed, the clubs get access to materials that prove that it signed the contract across print, digital and email.
The main theme that Kia is showcasing here is sustainability. First, they commit to support the growth of grassroots football, female and male. Second, they use the campaign to promote their range of sustainable cars.
Kia’s promotion includes a special leasing offer for its hybrid car range making it accessible for people who want to make the switch to such a car.
It is worth mentioning that the Swedish Football Association has a car partner too, local brand Volvo. From an image rights perspective it presents a clash to involve Asllani in any of the FA’s campaigns with Volvo.
The campaign teased Asllani’s fans on social media in the way it was launched. Four days before the launch Asllani posted on Instagram that she will be signing a new contract on 05/05/2020. It created curiosity since Asllani was the first signing of Real Madrid Women’s team and at the time she signed it was actually with CD Tacon, which became officially Real Madrid Women on 01/07/2020.
Following the teaser, the campaign was launched with a couple of images and a video which can be seen below.
The Two Sides of Brand Purpose
The world is changing. And so are consumer’s attitudes towards brands. A brand with purpose is set to gain increased engagement, loyalty and eventually revenue. Brands must be careful though as consumers will see straight through them if they don’t live by the purpose they widely broadcast.
It is also tempting to tackle many social issues at once which can result in missing them all together. Brands should first address issues that are relevant to their business and that they can influence. Finding the right ambassador is equally key and it is clear that much of the campaign is shaped by Asllani’s world view.
Kia certainly has the drive to make change, tackling two social issues at once. It seems to be on the right track.