Every year UEFA award national associations in five different categories. This year the Croatian football federation was the winner in the ‘Best Digital Fan Engagement Campaign’ category for their ‘Budi ponosan’ (Be proud) project for the World Cup in Brazil. The Croatian football federation beat six other national associations to win the award, including the English FA, French and Italian.
Besides praising the Croatian football federation for being the most popular association in Europe on social media (based on population with internet access), UEFA’s jury praised the Croatian football federation in bringing the fans closer to the team through ‘behind the scenes’ information and photo sharing, especially since the federation works on marketing in-house and does not out source to a marketing firm.
“These marketing awards showcase the very best in national association marketing,” said the chairman of the UEFA HatTrick Committee, Allan Hansen, at the ceremony, “and it is clear to all of us that your marketing and promotion of the game is developing quickly, hand-in-hand with your friends at UEFA.”
Croatia’s award was collected by the federation’s spokesman Tomislav Pacak and event manager Alan Balen.
“We tried to convey to our fans with as much passion, hard work and dedication that our team members have when they play for Croatia and to make them proud. And today we are proud of this award which is a great achievement for us, for which we can thank the players for their openness, the leadership of the federation for their support, and of course our fans for their unprecedented love for the team. Thanks to the jury, who recognized our efforts, and the award will certainly be a great motivation for further work,” said Pacak.
“The 51 applications from 37 national associations says everything,” added UEFA’s marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein. “The UEFA KISS Marketing Awards continue to grow with every edition. What is important to us as part of the KISS programme is that we now have 51 examples of best practices that UEFA can add to our rich bank of content.”
Full list of award categories, nominees and winners:
Best Digital Fan Engagement Campaign
Winner: Croatian Football Federation (HNS) – ‘Be Proud’ digital strategy
Nominees: Polish Football Federation (PZPN) – ‘Wszyscy Na Puchar’ (Everyone to the Cup Final); French Football Federation (FFF) – ‘FFF 2014 Digital Fan Engagement Campaign’
Creativity and Innovation award: Scottish Football Association (SFA) – #DefyTheOdds
Best Fan Experiential Promotion
Winner: Malta Football Association (MFA) – ‘Reach Out’
Nominees: Danish Football Association (DBU) – World Penalty Championships; French Football Federation (FFF) – ‘Casa Bleue’
Creativity and Innovation award: Royal Belgian Football Association (URBSFA–KBVB) – ‘A Stadium Box Full of Women’
Best Sponsorship Activation
Winner: Turkish Football Association (TFF) – ‘Turkcell: Those Who See The Sound’
Nominees: Danish Football Association (DBU) – World Penalty Championships; Royal Belgian Football Association (URBSFA-KBVB) – ‘ING – The Road Signs Brazil’
Creativity and Innovation award: Football Association of Iceland (KSÍ) – ‘Proud Sponsors of Football’
Best Brand Strategy and Implementation
Winner: Royal Belgian Football Association (URBSFA-KBVB) – ‘Belgian Red Flames’
Nominees: Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) – ‘Official Mascot and Sonic Identity’; Football Association of Wales (FAW) – ‘Uniting the Welsh Football Family’
Creativity and Innovation award: Football Association of Albania (FShF) – ‘Rebranding the Albanian FA’
Best Grassroots Marketing Campaign
Winner: Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) – ‘KNVB and ARAG Go for Fair Play’
Nominees: Football Association of Norway (NFF) – ‘MinFotball’ (My Football); German Football Association (DFB) – ‘Upgrading Amateur Football in Germany’
Creativity and Innovation award: Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA) – ‘3×3 Girls Tournament’