One World Futbol Project Co-Founder Lisa Tarver demonstrates virtually indestructible footballs that will not deflate or puncture
Soccer Around the World: Chevrolet Gives Back
“Our approach here is not just celebrating the beautiful game, but celebrating what is beautiful about the game....”
In today's highly competitive commerical world, it is important, even critical to stop for a moment to recognize and appreciate the good that corporations can do, especially when they do.
Soccer or “futbol” as it is known in most of the world, is the one game known across the globe. Children from all backgrounds can be united by one ball and open space. However, while space can be found almost anywhere, a ball can be more rare. For children in underprivileged third-world countries, finding a ball may seem impossible.
On May 31, Chevrolet partnered with Manchester United, and announced its cooperation with the One World Futbol Project to donate 1.5 million indestructible soccer balls to children around the world. The balls are being sold through the One World Futbol Project, and with every purchase of a ball, another one will be donated to children in need.
The idea behind the project is simple.
Inspired by the realization that kids deserve better and the knowledge that there is power is a simple durable ball, One World Futbol Project hopes to inspire the heroic potential in young soccer players in impoverished areas.
Chevrolet & One World Futbol Project | Chevrolet FC
Tim Jahnigen invented the ball after seeing footage of children playing with a ball made out of trash. The soccer ball is ideal for all children because it doesn’t need to be inflated and can still be used if it is punctured. It is perfect for war-stricken zones, refugee camps, and disaster areas where use of the typical soccer ball last only days. With the help of the artist Sting, the project was funded and began to improve the lives of many. In two years of the operation, over 500,000 lives have been changed, with even more on the way.
Enter Chevrolet and their commitment to help the project grow exponentially.
SoccerNation spoke with John McFarland, Senior Manager of Global Strategic Marketing with Chevrolet, about the company’s decision to become involved with this project. According to McFarland, it began with Chevrolet’s decision to identify a shared passion around the world that could be harnessed for a greater cause. The company looked at sports in general and quickly identified soccer/fútbol as the obvious choice.
“Soccer quickly rises to the top when you look at sports on a global level. Soccer involves an overall intensity among fans and inspires national pride,” McFarland explained. “Chevrolet wanted to find a common thread at the global level that could also connect on the local level. We were inspired by the shared love of soccer around the globe.”
Through Chevrolet’s involvement, a social media campaign will soon begin to encourage consumers around the world, particularly in the United States and Europe, to become involved in the project. As a founding sponsor of One World Fútbol, Chevrolet has committed to distributing 1.5 million indestructible soccer balls around the world, using the power of ordinary fans.
“The consumers are the heroes,” McFarland said, “Chevrolet is only the conduit for this to happen.”
Children of Santa Gertrudis, El Salvador hold their punctured and deflated footballs while waiting to receive new, virtually indestructible footballs from Chevrolet through the One World Futbol Project Thursday, May 24, 2012
When asked why Chevrolet 'cares', McFarland’s own passion was evident. “We want to make a difference and with this program, we can. When you look at the Chevrolet and what it has stood for over the years, and what we are trying to recapture, you see that our brand is very approachable and accessible. Our customer is the father who consoles his son after a loss in sports, the individual doing something good for the community, everyday heroes – that’s what we are looking for. We are inspired by the heroic acts of everyday people.” This program hopes to help everyone become a hero ... in a small way.
The One World Futbol Project has global impact but will also feel like a local program, bringing people together through the shared love of the game of soccer - which is commonly referred to as the Beautiful Game.
“Our approach here is not just celebrating the beautiful game, but celebrating what is beautiful about the game,” McFarland continued.
“It’s all they ways soccer is most impactful on the human level. It is about everything from hard work and the pride of winning to the regalia of the competition and the shared joy of the sport.”
As the name of the program states, 'One World' may be enough if everyone works together.
As Sting says, "One world is enough if you can support each other with kindness, caring and compassion. It is a simple idea but makes all the difference in the world."
Over the next several weeks Chevrolet will begin putting the word out through social media, including its website and Facebook page. The next stage of the project will launch in August, and at that time details will be provided on how consumers can buy a ball and donate a ball. As McFarland explained, it’s all about the importance and power of play and the role soccer can take in helping children around the world.
“In some places you see kids using rocks to mark out the goals and wrapping trash in a bag or something else to make a ball,” he said. “I’m very passionate about this. I think it can make a big difference.”
Children play with a new, virtually indestructible football in Santa Gertrudis, El Salvador
The balls will never deflate and are designed to have the same size, weight and rebound characteristics of a traditional inflated football, yet require no stitching. The material used to make the ball is inert (non-toxic, doesn't leach) and is extremely rugged.
Harnessing the power of play to help children who need it the most discover the power of their potential. "One world is enough" is a simple idea but can make all the difference in the world. Check back soon with SoccerNationNews for how you can help make the power of One World work.