Sponsorships connect brands to consumer passion points, but they can also open doors to help brands make a real difference in the lives of fans. Chevrolet recently wrapped a fifth season of its GoalKeepers campaign, a program built with the Women’s Sports Foundation surrounding the brand’s Manchester United sponsorship in the U.K. The goal of GoalKeepers: To inspire girls to #BeAGoalKeeper, in soccer and in the pursuit of their dreams.
The eight-month-long campaign involved 11 girls ages 11-15 from across the U.S. selected by an application process to partake in mentorship, regional activities and a grand finale trip to England for a weeklong workshop. The insight by Ernst & Young guiding the program: that more than 94 percent of female business leaders played sports as children. Compare that figure to the sad statistic that by age 14, girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys, and Chevy has recognized an opportunity to support female empowerment with a recipe involving its soccer sponsorship and role as official automotive partner of the Women’s Sports Foundation.
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“GM and Chevrolet is very much for female empowerment. We’re one of the very few companies that has female leadership right at the top level with two of our c-suites now being females, so this is absolutely key for us. This is an empowerment of the next generation of leaders,” says Kevin Bull, partnership director at Chevrolet. “This year’s seen another fantastic result with bringing the girls here to the U.K. for a trip of a lifetime, but hopefully, a trip that will set them up to really inspire them to go on and do greater things—that’s really the emphasis of it and why we do it.”
Throughout the campaign, the girls took part in regional workshops in markets across the U.S., where they met with GM leaders, entrepreneurs and mentors in STEM-related activities (science, technology, engineering and math). Then, on the trip to England that they take with a parent, they enjoy in-stadium experiences, “Shark Tank”-style product development challenges and group training exercises, team-building activities like climbing and go-karting, watching the Manchester United vs. Durham Women’s match and taking part in a meet-and-greet, on-the-pitch training with the Manchester United Soccer School and a meet-and-greet with the Manchester United men’s team. The experience culminates with the girls walking out onto the pitch as mascots with the first team players of Manchester United in front of 75,000 fans and millions more on TV. Agency: Jack Morton Worldwide.
Photo courtesy: Julian Andrews/Eye R8 Productions Ltd.