Football for Friendship to make vital contribution to success of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™
The Gazprom Board of Directors took note of the information regarding the Company’s efforts within the framework of the UEFA Champions League and the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.
It was highlighted that Gazprom had contributed to the support and promotion of professional sports in Russia and abroad for many years. In the 2012–2013 season, the Company became an official partner of the UEFA Champions League. In 2015, Gazprom also became an official partner of FIFA competitions, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.
As an official partner of the two best-known international football tournaments, Gazprom increases its brand awareness and solidifies its reputation as a global energy company undertaking projects on a worldwide scale.
In 2013, the Company launched Gazprom-football.com, a specialized website where visitors can learn about Gazprom’s efforts in supporting football federations and professional football clubs, explore its social initiatives, and take part in Champions League ticket giveaways. In the 2016–2017 season alone, over 580,000 users from 190 countries created accounts on the website, making Gazprom-football.com an essential part of the online football community.
Also in 2013, Gazprom started implementing the Football for Friendship (F4F) international children’s social programme (as an official sponsor of the UEFA Champions League in 2013–2016 and from 2017 onward as a sponsor of FIFA competitions such as the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™). The programme is primarily aimed at promoting universal human values like equality, fairness and peace among youth. It involves young footballers (boys and girls, including those with disabilities) and aspiring journalists who cover the F4F programme at the International Children's Press Center. In five years, the project attracted upward of 3,700 participants and guests, while the number of its member countries grew eightfold from 8 to 64.
F4F is supported by FIFA, UEFA, the International Olympic Committee, football federations from different countries, international children’s charity foundations, and the world’s leading football clubs. The project received 14 national and international awards in the field of communications, social work, and sports initiatives. For instance, in 2016 F4F was recognized as the best corporate social responsibility project in the world by two leading international awards bodies in the area of public relations, namely SABRE Awards and Gold Quill Awards, and in 2017 it won gold as the best international social media strategy at The Internationalist’s Awards for Innovative Digital Marketing Solutions.
Gazprom regularly conducts opinion surveys with the help of independent organizations tracking public opinion polls. According to experts, Gazprom’s brand awareness is showing substantial growth in the Company’s key European markets, accompanied by an increase in the share of positive reactions to the brand. Specifically, 51 per cent of European respondents associate Gazprom with a reliable Russian supplier of energy. In that category, brand recognition is stronger among football fans (64 per cent).
Gazprom will continue to implement major promotional and social events within the framework of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. To that end, in 2018 the Company plans to use F4F to bring together for the first time participants from all 211 associations – including countries and regions – affiliated to FIFA.
The Company’s Management Committee was tasked to carry on with supporting the UEFA Champions League and promoting the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.