Last week saw the
Homeless World Cup take place in Mexico City, with Chile emerging as victors in the men’s tournament after a hard-fought victory over the host nation. The buzz on social streams was as exhilarating as the action on the pitch – with the tournament’s cheeky and endearing mascot, Amigol, rousing fans even before a ball was kicked.
Photo by Oz Dror ~ www.photozzy.com
The competition is now in its 10
th year and aims to help homeless people build and develop transferable skills through communication, trust, team building and responsibility. The ultimate aim is to help those who have experienced homelessness realise they already have the skills needed to change their own lives. Attracting a number of global partners, the charity provides education and support for participants long after the tournament has ended.
With the event being held for such a good cause and aiming to change the lives of homeless people everywhere, social media was always going to play a major role in spreading the charity’s ethos, building up worldwide interest and conveying the emotions of participants, fans and organisers present in Mexico City to social users across the world.
Lewis Willing, communications assistant for the Homeless World Cup, gave me this insight into the charity’s social media strategy for the event:
“During the event we wanted to inform about what was going on, but more importantly capture the emotion and show just what the tournament can do to help people who have experienced homelessness. We also aim to change perceptions about homeless people and the use of social media is an important factor in achieving this.”
So here’s a snippet on how they did it:
The Homeless World Cup
homepage provided daily blog-style updates on all the excitement and drama on the pitch. The posts reminded us of the real reason for the tournament taking place, and each post offered a comment matrix directly linked to Facebook allowing users to discuss the action or offer their support for the article’s subject.
This year’s event placed a major focus on its YouTube
channel, broadcasting full matches, highlights videos and ‘best of’ montages allowing for fans thousands of miles away to enjoy the gritty action and comment on the drama.
Through the use of
YouTube Nonprofits and Google Wallet, viewers could donate instantly from the HWC’s channel and share the news of each donation on their preferred social site.
Having drilled up nearly 1 million views since its inception, the Homeless World Cup channel combined the coverage of crunch matches such as those between the Auld Enemies (Scotland and England, in case you didn’t know), with interviews and thoughts from some of the participants. This was another subtle way of reminding viewers of the skills it hopes for homeless people to gain. The number of videos available provided fans with infinite talking points to take to Twitter and discuss using the
#HWCMexico hashtag; the charity never failing to interact from its own account.
For photo lovers, both the Homeless World Cup
Facebook and Flickr accounts showcase beautifully colourful images displaying the community spirit, joy and positivity of the event. These snaps remind us of the aim of charity, the struggles of the participants visible in the faces. What’s that old adage? “A picture is worth a thousand words”?
Image taken by Oz Dror: www.photozzy.com
Well done HWC and well done social, you’ve only gone and pulled on my heart strings again.
The next Homeless World Cup takes place in Poznan, Poland in 2013: see you there (or on Twitter).
By Doug Wilson, community exec, @dougw_yomego