What if in 25 years there is no more football due to water shortages? In the End of Football video from Manchester City and Xylem, we follow the emotional story of a young football fan who grows up to see this happen due to climate change. The video is a warning: according to the UK Environmental Protection Agency, parts of England could run out of water by 2045.
“Our purpose-driven partnership with Manchester City is focused on raising awareness with one billion people that global water issues are closer than you think,” says Randolf Waters, Director, Global Branding & Partnerships at Xylem. “The impact of the video is showing how strongly the public engages when you combine the power of football with key social causes. In just three weeks, the End of Football video was viewed over 10 million times across all platforms and reached over 470 million individuals, cementing it as one of Manchester City’s top performing partner videos of all time. What’s more exciting though is the fan engagement with incredible comments on how this message bridges across fierce team allegiances."
Since 2018, Manchester City has partnered with Xylem to raise awareness about global water challenges such as water scarcity. This partnership includes digital campaigns, in-person events to engage youth and the general public, and delivering WASH education and water access projects for communities in need in India and Thailand.
Behind-the scenes-video with TikTok football freestyler Ben Black
Following the success of the End of Football video, Xylem has released a behind-the-scenes video featuring football freestyler Ben Black (@ben on TikTok), who has a cameo in the original video. Now fans can see how the video was shot, including scenes from the Club’s iconic Etihad Stadium.
“We’re ultimately aiming to create a groundswell of public support for placing water in the center of the discussions on climate change, resilient communities, and public health, and we believe the youth voice needs to be elevated here,” says Waters. “So having Ben be part of our video, who has millions of followers on TikTok, was an exciting new way to reach this audience.”
Throughout the development and launch of the End of Football campaign, there continues to be multiple studies indicating how climate change can affect sports in the UK, and how urgent action is needed to prevent parts of England from running out of water in 20 years.
“What’s most scary to note though is the pace of climate change,” says Waters. “Our shoot dates in early 2020 were delayed due to football match delays caused by Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis. We were trying to tell the story of climate change and the end of football while battling both at the same time!”