FIFA Presidential Campaign

Objective 

In October 2015 PRO was tasked with running HRH Prince Ali’s media campaign to become the next President of FIFA. Beyond winning the race and changing FIFA, the objective was to ensure that his reputation was enhanced, credibility maintained and integrity untarnished on the world stage.


Implementation:

The decision as to who the next President of FIFA would be rested in the hands of the 209 Football Associations, not the general public. Therefore, our communications strategy needed to work in conjunction with the wider campaign approach and overlay the voter strategy. We began by developing key messages around three distinct areas – credible leadership, development of the game and the game itself – an approach that positioned Prince Ali as transparent and willing to work in an open manner.

We implemented media tactics including roundtables in London and Delhi, press conferences in Geneva and speeches in Amman, Copenhagen and Washington – all of which were tailored for the local audience. Beyond this, we also undertook broadcast interviews; face-to-face print interviews; and placed op-eds and Q&As. In addition, we prepared statements around the campaign as well as reactions to the news agenda with relation to FIFA and the Presidential election. As the story around FIFA evolved on a region-by-region basis, we were able to adapt our messaging accordingly.

A social media programme of activity was also undertaken utilising Twitter, Facebook and website platforms to echo and compliment traditional media efforts.


Results

Successfully reaching global media across all continents, including three international press conferences and two media roundtables, achieving over 1,000 pieces of coverage across print, broadcast and online. Managed ten media events, in seven countries and over 50 one-to-one media interviews.

The Facebook page grew by 23,866 likes and the @AliForFIFA Twitter account went from 2,823 followers at the start of the campaign launch, by February 2016 had 7,239 followers, an uplift of 156%.

The media activity built a groundswell of public support and as a result, Prince Ali came top in three separate polls conducted by CNN, Unleash Football and NewFIFANow. These results highlighted that through running a positive and consistent campaign we had been able to influence public opinion with – Prince Ali firmly coming out on top as the people’s choice for President of FIFA.