Two of UEFA partner PepsiCo’s leading snack and beverage brands – Lays and Gatorade – linked on a series of equal opportunities for deserving communities focused grassroots activations to leverage their sponsorship rights around the 2022 Women’s Champions League Final in Turin (Italy) on 21 May between FC Barcelona and Lyon.
Continuing parent company PepsiCo’s ongoing commitment to provide equal opportunities for men and women on and off the football pitch, the brands celebrated the sponsorship through linked initiatives which saw Lay’s build a full-size pitch out of crisp packets/chip bags in Turin and Gatorade the new field to use by holding the national Italian final of the all-women’s ‘Gatorade 5v5’ tournament on it.
On 19 May UEFA legend and former Italy and Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisi joined UEFA Chief of Women’s Football Nadine Kessler to open the new sustainable pitch – largely made from reused crisp packets – in Cecchi Point (in Turin’s Aurora District Community Centre) as part of the snack brand’s ongoing ‘RePlay’ global equality initiative run in partnership with the UEFA Foundation for Children and streetfootballworld which aims to bring equal joy through soccer to deserving communities and create safe spaces to host long term educational football programs.
The Turin ‘Lay’s RePlay’ pitch will provide 18 hours of weekly football educational sessions over the next 12 months: serving more than 200 young people and women currently at the risk of social and soccer exclusion. The programs focus on educational empowerment and personal growth and have been designed to meet four areas of need: creating a sense of belonging, increasing engagement, promoting safety, and ensuring access to sport.
The pitch was designed to minimise the impact on the environment, biodiversity and community and was built using sustainable technology: giving empty crisp packets (which constitute around 1/3rd of the pitch building material alongside 100% recycled turf and shockpad under layer) a second life.
Gatorade then immediately put the freshly laid chip bag pitch to use when it kicked-off the national final of its brand-backed, all-women’s ‘Gatorade 5v5’ tournament on 20 May.
Before the games kicked off ambassador Marchisio offered advice and a motivational talk before kick-off and support during the games (in which players were kept hydrated through Gatorade – in 100% recycled plastics bottles of course).
These linked activations were part of the first PepsiCo’s first ever specific Women’s Champions League Final activation – part of its wider UEFA sponsorship – as both ‘Lay’s RePlay’ pitch program and the 5v5 tournament reinforce the company’s commitment to supporting young athletes and driving positive change in local communities through the power of sport.
Gatorade’s annual five-a-side ‘5v5 Football Tournament’, which is now in its fifth year, has seen more than 100,000 young women a platform to excel and the 2022 iteration includes teams from 17 countries. Early rounds in the Italian tournament were played in eight different cities and the women’s 14-16 year-old winners were given the honour of carrying the UEFA Women’s Champions League banner to the centre of the pitch as official ‘Centre Circle Carriers’ during the opening ceremony for the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final.
As one strand of Gatorade’s commitment to inspire and educate athletes of all levels, all players received support from Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) scientist Dr Rebecca Randell on hydration and sports nutrition, while the Pepsi-owned sports drink brand also provided players with GX Sweat Patch (a Gatorade tech which delivers optimal hydration tailored to each individual player and make changes that can help increase their performance).
The initiatives were promoted through TV, digital and social content (plus PR support) by both parent company, brand and rights owner.
— PepsiCo (@PepsiCo) May 20, 2022
Lay's RePlay pitch in Turin is now a reality!! ✅ After Brazil, South Africa & UK, together with @UEFA_Foundation we’ve just opened our fourth community football pitch made by reusing empty @LAYS packets #UWCLfinal #Torino2022 #LaysRePlay #LaysFootball pic.twitter.com/HDfSr5C2ez
— Lay's Football (@Lays_football) May 19, 2022
️⚽ Lay's RePlay, a global initiative created in partnership with the @UEFA_Foundation for Children and streetfootballworld, has been launched in Turin with the opening of a new pitch and associated support programmes.
— UEFA Women’s Champions League (@UWCL) May 21, 2022
⚽ Nadine Kessler and Claudio Marchisio opened a brand new pitch in Turin ahead of the #UWCLfinal this week!
♻️ The Lay's RePlay initiative reuses crisp packets to help create a sustainable surface, benefiting thousands of people in the area!
Full story: ⬇️
— UEFA (@UEFA) May 20, 2022
“It’s an honour to be supporting the launch of the Lay’s Replay pitch ahead of the UEFA Women’s Champions League,” commented Marchisio. “I’ve been fortunate enough to play at some incredible facilities throughout my career so I can speak to the benefits that the Lay’s RePlay pitch will have for the youth of Turin, and the generations that follow. This pitch will have a positive impact uniting them through the power of football, helping them learn, grow, develop confidence and teamwork, and have fun.”
PepsiCo Global Beverages SVP and Chief Marketing Officer Mark Kirkham commented: “Our partnership with the UEFA Women’s Champions League provides an incredible opportunity to bring the best of our Pep+ vision to life. From Lay’s replay sustainable football pitches to the first female Gatorade 5v5 program, we are committed to supporting young athletes and local communities through the power of sports while delivering positive outcomes for the planet and people by leading the development of more sustainable and inclusive systems.”
According to PepsiCo’s marketers, its partnership with the UEFA Women’s Champions League has given them the platform to bring its equality and sustainability vision to life.
Sebnem Erim, VP of Marketing, Global Foods at PepsiCo, explained: “At PepsiCo, we’re committed to the future of women’s football, bringing our influence and scale to bring due recognition to Women’s football. And today we are proud to inaugurate our first Lay’s RePlay pitch for 2022 in Turin and host the national finals of 5v5 on it. We want to play an active role in supporting Women’s football, working hard to make sure we activate this platform with the conviction, energy and quality that many of the players have demonstrated.”
To date, ‘Lay’s RePlay’ – a zero net carbon footprint football initiative – has built and opened three new football pitches in South Africa, Brazil and the UK (all in 2021). The new Turin pitch marks the first Italian iteration of the programme and the first new RePlay pitch to open in 2022.
The previously opened trio of pitches have already positively impacted more than 1000 players through 1,427 hours of Lay’s RePlay educational football programming, while a additional 19,000 members of the local communities have been indirectly impacted through general use of the pitch and community events.
The initiative is part of Lay’s wider programme which also includes supporting the
‘Team of Champions’ platform to improve access to football in underserved communities by helping teams with apparel, equipment costs and providing resources to guide students who are pursuing athletic scholarships for college.
Lay’s is proud to support “Team of Champions.” The platform improves access to soccer in underserved communities, helping teams with apparel, equipment costs + providing resources to guide students who are pursuing athletic scholarships for college. #PepsiCoProud pic.twitter.com/k02tpBLLmc
— LAY'S (@LAYS) May 4, 2022