We’ve worked with Mind, the mental health charity, on their official charity partnership with the English Football League since it launched in 2018. One of the key objectives of the partnership was to raise awareness for mental health and the Mind brand amongst football fans. To capitalise on the 90,000 attendance at Wembley finals we were challenged to turn our campaign for Mind – Whoever You Support, We Support You – into a physical activation to drive awareness and fundraising among fans.
Our strategy: support the supporters
All season long fans support their team through ups and downs. Our idea was to position Mind as supporting fans themselves through life’s ups and downs. In other words Mind was there to support supporters. We created the Mind Supporter’s Support Club to make fans aware that Mind was there for support mental health beyond the 90 minutes.
To drive awareness on match days, the Carabao Cup and playoffs, we designed, produced and built the entire onsite event, from bespoke stand, to fund raising collateral, LED screen animations, advertising, and even the pre-match pitch side entertainment.
A stand for mental health
We deliberately designed the stand to feel like a home garden to reflect grassroots football and alleviate any fear footy fans have about talking about mental health, creating a safe and familiar environment. Every year 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem, a key message, was made memorable by forming the backdrop for a goal kicking game for kids.
We invited ex-footballer Clarke Carlisle, someone who’s been open about his mental health problems, to be interviewed by Sky at the stand along with Mind’s CEO Paul Farmer.
Getting the brand into footy fans hands
We wanted to get the Mind brand into the hands of fans to drive awareness, to help us do that we created the Mind big thumbs up as a positive symbol of support. These fun branded foam thumbs were a big hit with fans who queued up for them and posed with them across social media to drive buzz on the day. We also encouraged people to share a pic in selfie frames that we created bespoke for each match.
Driving awareness pitch side
We branded and launched Mind Games, a series of fun challenges that would continue to drive awareness of the Mind brand pre-match and during half time. We designed the games to appeal to fans, giving them a competitive element, but with a fun message about mental health and support. In the ‘Head to Head’ challenge two sets of fans take each other on in a dribble challenge wearing a Mind branded double jumper. The message of support is played out as they must work together as a team to complete the challenge.
Big games need simple bold branding to cut through the noise, particularly for a charity brand competing in the stadium with sponsor brand logos. We created a simple LED sequence featuring the Mind brand and campaign strapline and maximised the Mind brand presence throughout the experience from programme to toilet posters.
We created a 30 second film featuring fans from different teams in the EFL that played inside Wembley during the Carabao Cup to an attendance of over 80,000 fans.
Getting fundraising on target
Although the key objective was awareness we also maximized all possible fundraising opportunities on the day by scoping out the best positions during a site visit and creating large flags to pinpoint the location of bucket collectors above the sea of fans. Bucket collectors engaged fans by waving big foam thumbs.
In the Wembley hospitality suites we created a simple mechanic to encourage a card donation.