As it prepares to leave behind its 15-year flagship Premier League title sponsorship, Barclays is rolling out its final campaign, ‘I Am One’, which leverages the excitement around the season’s climax by showcasing the generation of fans who have helped shape the Barclays Premier League and offers one fan a chance to hand over the trophy to the winners at the end of the season.
The initiative operates as the kick-off point for Barclay’s search for a deserving fan to present the trophy to the champions in May.
The campaign is led by a TV spot, created by agency Havas Sports & Entertainment Cake and produced by Dark Energy, which highlights three fans and the impact Barclays has had on their lives during the period.
The three stars of the commercial are Spurs supporter Maddison Hubbard (who became a fan of the club when her dad won her a spot as a White Hart Lane mascot through Barclays), Dillon White (who worked as a football coach at his local Barclays community sports site) and Rachel Key (who handed over the trophy to Chelsea last season after completing a Barclays employability programme).
Voiced by long-time Barclays ambassador and former England captain Alan Shearer, the ad outlines how viewers ‘could be the one’ to win a chance to present the trophy, as well as win other prizes, through its Spirit of the Game competition.
In addition to the core TVC, the campaign is being activated across social media and in-stadia advertising, as well as a PR campaign launch event fronted by Gary Lineker and including branded buses.
This supporting, follow-up campaign content also features famous current and former star players with whom Barclays has worked during its 15-year league partnership: including Alan Shearer, Ian Wright, Harry Kane, Claudio Ranieri and Wes Morgan who all feature in a series of supporting short films hosted on the Barclays Football Facebook page.
Each short outlines their personal stories across three areas of Barclays’ investment: employability, community sports sites and access.
For example, an Ian Wright webfilm not only amplifies the campaign, but also discusses how he himself will never forget the day he lifted the Barclays Premier League trophy.
Freddie Sassoon, Alex Groom and Jess Burling created the ad at Havas SE Cake, and it was directed by Ben Jones through Dark Energy Films, while Maxus handled the media planning and buying.
The campaign is part of Barclay’s ongoing strategy to ’restore warmth and trust to its brand’.
‘Since we started sponsoring the Premier League 15 years ago we have always tried to make sure fans and those who give back at the grass roots level are beneficiaries of our sponsorship,’ explains Barclays global sponsorship head Nathan Homer.
‘We have helped tens of thousands of fans to go to matches, thousands of amateur players the chance to play on their favourite Barclays Premier League pitch, hundreds of youngsters the chance to be a match day mascot and a whole host more around the world have been able to see the trophy up close. Now we’re going one step further by giving one fan the ultimate opportunity to hand over the trophy itself.
‘The campaign has evolved over the years. It’s about showing people that we use all the assets we got, such as giving 100,000 tickets to fans and customers over the years. We take the trophy all the around the country each year.’
So, after 15 years, Barclay’s long running title sponsorship comes to an end after this season – with the Premier League claiming that its new clean title brand strategy means it is not looking for a replacement headline partner.
Indeed, itead the Premier League has already hired Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R to create ads as it looks to maximise having a “clean” brand around the world.
But Barclay’s will continue a relationship with the league as the Premier League’s financial partner.
‘We won’t have the [Barclays branded] badge anymore, but that isn’t a big problem for us’, he explains.
‘We don’t have an awareness problem in the UK… being the title sponsor was fabulous for building awareness and stature but now we are in a place where we can consolidate… in most markets we can deliver [our key objectives] with the assets we already have.
‘In Africa, for example, we have a campaign to get people to open bank accounts. That campaign has worked very well and includes the IP of the Premier League. We will still have the rights to do that. We can run the same ad and change two words in the script.’
So, to finish with a touch of activation nostalgia, here are two of our favourite historical Barclay’s campaigns leveraging the Premier League from the Activative archives:
Barclays Spirit Of The Game:
Barclays Football Facebook:
Barclays UK Facebook:
Premier League Website
Premier League Facebook
Premier League Twitter
Premier League Instagram
Havas Sport & Entertainment