Premier League Champions Manchester City and Xylem have teamed up to launch a campaign to drive awareness of urgent water challenges. The “Closer Than You Think” campaign, starring Sergio Agüero, David Silva and Ilkay Gündoğan, will reach millions of football fans around the world. Manchester City players will educate fans about challenges like water scarcity and flooding.
The campaign kicked off with the launch of a dramatic video filmed in the iconic Manchester City dressing room. “The Changing Room” sees the players surprised by a projection all around them showing dystopian visions of the future – areas faced with severe drought and flooding.
Water scarcity for half the world’s population
The latest UN data estimates that 3.6 billion people – almost half the global population – currently live in areas that are potentially water-scarce at least one month per year. By 2050, more than 5 billion people could suffer water shortages due to pressures such as climate change, increased demand and polluted supplies.
Through creative, multimedia storytelling, the Xylem-Manchester City initiative will show audiences how every country on earth faces serious – and escalating – water issues, such as lack of access to clean drinking water and resilience challenges in the face of increasing severe weather patterns.
Over the coming weeks, the “Closer to Home” video series will raise awareness of the diverse range of water issues faced across the world. Manchester City players, Manchester City Women's team players and New York City FC players will discuss water challenges in their home countries. Fans are invited to explore behind-the-scenes content and learn about water solving tips.
Raising awareness of water challenges and solutions
“We’re excited to build on our unique partnership with Manchester City, which aims to use the power of football to help spread our crucial message and, ultimately, further our mission to solve water,” says Patrick Decker, Xylem President and Chief Executive Officer. “The reality is that the threats posed by the world’s water challenges are getting closer for us all, and this campaign is about raising awareness of these challenges and solutions, and inspiring people of all ages globally to help create a more water-secure world.”
Damian Willoughby, Senior Vice President of Partnership at City Football Group, parent of Manchester City, said: “At Manchester City we are committed to using football as a platform for improving the lives of people around the world, and we are delighted to support Xylem for such an important campaign.”
Water tower construction and WASH education
As part of Xylem’s multi-year partnership with Manchester City, Xylem recently partnered with the Club to deliver clean water towers, WASH education, and sports and leadership training to communities in Bangalore, India. This initiative will benefit over 5,000 children this year.
The Water Goals project in Bangalore is part of Xylem’s ongoing social impact initiative, conducted by the company’s corporate citizenship program Watermark, alongside Xylem’s partner Planet Water Foundation, which is responsible for water tower construction.