Context & opportunity
On the night of September 4, 2017 Romania was losing against Montenegro and missed the qualification to the 2018 World Cup. Yet another failure, as the last time we qualified for a World Cup was with Hagi leading the way for us at the 1998 (!) Coupe du Monde in France.
So, Gillette decided to team up with the Romanian Football Federation not as a sponsor of the National Team, but more as a supporter of the future of football in Romania.
Our opportunity: create a platform that will ensure Romanian football remains relevant to as many young Romanians (also a key target for Gillette products) and that will bring to light as many talented kids as possible.
We looked closely at the example of the best national football team of Romania who played in the 90s and at the way Spain reinvented its football. Here’s what we found out:
- 60%+ of the Romanian Golden Generation players came from rural areas, including the number 10 of the team: Gheorghe Hagi;
- Romanian football academies are focused on urban areas, due to lack of funds to cover the rural areas too;
- Spain’s recent history of success in football is a consequence of the expansion in the early ‘90s of youth monitoring;
- Romanian football clubs focus on short term profits with adult foreing players vs long term investment in young Romanians.
Focus on real solutions on short term:
- Support the Romanian Football Federation (FRF) in finding talent in mainly rural areas;
- Use the example of Romanian football legends acting as program ambassadors to inspire today’s aspiring talents;
- Provide world class training by FRF to talented kids found in remote areas;
- Provide media exposure to talented kids found, making it easier for big football clubs to bring them to their academies.
This is how and why Performance Has a Future (PHF) was created.
Moving forward, we set out cause and business objectives of Gillette:
- Adult males 18 – 45 years old football fans and potential users of Gillette products.
- Point Of Market Entry males (10 – 16 years old), moving closer and closer to their first shave.
- Adult females (18 – 45 years old), wives and mothers of football fans. The ones who buy the Gillette special gifting packages on holydays / birthdays.
The first Performance Has a Future season (2016 – 2017) was announced in July 2016. Romanian football legends Miodrag Belodedici, Jean Vlădoiu and Ion Geolgău as head scouts and FRF President Răzvan Burleanu as main supporter, the caravan kicked off with four selected rural areas – Moldova Nouă, Bascov, Jucu and Pădureni. More than 1000 players ages 10 to 14 took part, watched closely by approximately 2700 spectators. The presence of two brands like Gillette and FRF transformed the trials in must attend events for the local communities.
To gain media coverage, we created an independent content feed – interviews, footage etc – provided to all interested media outlets, including FRF & Gillette channels.
The trials helped us identify ten talented footballers ages 10 to 14, with FRF also adding an eleventh player from the Romanian diaspora in Spain. The team was brought together at the National Football Center in Mogoșoaia, accommodated in the same rooms the National Team players use and treated to a training session in the presence of National Team officials. The Mogoșoaia session was followed by a trip to Barcelona, where our players trained at the Ciutat Esportiva training ground of FC Barcelona and watched a match of FC Barcelona in La Liga on Nou Camp.
- kids ages 10 to 14 from Romanian rural areas scouted by FRF; eleven of them enjoyed a double experience: training with National Team coaches and at FC Barcelona’s training ground;
- Two kids, Fabrizio Constantin and Rober Jerdea, signed by FCSB’s Academy;
- The goalkeeper of the PHF team, Răzvan Sava, turned out to be the captain of Romania’s U16 Romanian National Team;
- PHF generated an average of 250 players / trial and 675 spectators / trial;
- 426 national and local media placements have been generated, with 125 of them on TV, most them in prime time.
Creativity and innovation
- The first football scouting project led by a brand in Romania’s rural areas;
- Brought first class football VIPs to remote communities across the country;
- Provided top class media access with onsite content produced by a media team