Umbro donates soccer balls, supports digi expansion

A donation campaign with Kickballs for Kids also guarantees traffic to Umbro Canada's new social media properties, the brand's marketing manager explains.

Umbro Canada has launched a new charity campaign called The Great Pass Project that will donate soccer balls to underprivileged teams that need them. In partnership with Kickballs for Kids, a charity organization that donates soccer balls to teams in Africa and, more recently, in Canada, the brand will donate one ball for every five people who sign up to the Umbro Canada newsletter.

Globally, Umbro has focused heavily on their digital presence with the re-launch of and the creation of Umbro blogs, Twitter and Facebook groups, explains Kathryn Hicks, marketing manager Umbro Canada, and these social media tools have played a huge role in their marketing strategy.

‘In Canada, we launched the Umbro e-newsletter to complement our global strategy on a local level,’ Hicks tells MiC, about the monthly newsletter that sends subscribers info about new products and profiles grassroots teams. ‘The partnership with Kickballs for Kids will not only help increase the awareness of our digital initiatives, it will provide additional engaging content while allowing us to give back to the game in a very authentic way,’ she adds.

The Great Pass Project, developed for Umbro Canada by Toronto-based marketing firm Element Eight, aims to donate 500 soccer balls by the end of the year. The brand hopes to reach this goal by communicating directly with Kickballs for Kids’ Facebook fan page, via Umbro’s Twitter tools, and possibly through local dealers.

‘We are planning to show just how powerful social media can be when there is a relevant story to be told,’ Hicks says. ‘Through our investment in social media and digital marketing, we can now enhance exposure and our ability to connect with players, parents, coaches and fans throughout the country.’