Western Union’s ‘Pass’ UEFA Europa Educational Initiative


Patrick Vieira is the brand ambassador and front man for Western Union’s new educational CSR initiative that activates its rights as the new Global Partner of the UEFA Europa League.


The scheme sees the Western Union Foundation turn every successful pass in this season’s competition into cash funding to support one day’s education for young people around the world.


The financial giant’s new UEFA Europa League programme aims to improve education opportunities for young people around the world.


Western Union and its charitable arm the Western Union Foundation have combined to launch the ‘Pass’ campaign that will see it donate enough funds for one school day for one person for every successful pass the players make during the tournament.


The latest effort from the organisation to support education globally, the campaign aims to produce one million school days over the next three seasons.


The ‘Pass’ initiative will provide teacher training and scholarships for students through non-profit organisations, with an initial focus on 11 countries: Brazil, China, Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Romania, Russia and Turkey.


Vieira led the campaign kick-off during the Group Stages on 20 September, 2012.


The background to the campaign and the landscape it is trying to change is that sees a total 71 million young people across the globe not enrolled in secondary or vocational education. Furthermore, for 774 million people education is a barrier to economic inclusion, and shockingly one in five adults are not able to read and write.


“Moving money for better is at the heart of what we do, and education is one of the main reasons our customers send money,” says Western Union President Hikmet Ersek.


“With this campaign the organisation aims to harness the power of football to build awareness and momentum to instil real change. Football fans from across the globe will also be able to add to the funding through a range of online and social media mechanics.”




The ‘pass the ball’ and ‘pass the money’ brand and CSR scheme dovetail convincingly.


Global educational CSR is a neat fit for the brand which itself is dedicated to expanding economic opportunity around the world.


By linking the inspirational aspect of football with its CSR educational programme in the developing world is a good fit – especially when fronted by players such as Senegalese-born Patrick Vieira (player who comes from a background where educational opportunities are rare).




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