19 of the world’s greatest players, spanning five continents and nearly 20 countries, are uniting with Pepsi to inspire fans around the world to “Live For Now” in 2014. Among them is Leo Messi (one of my favorites). As I was reading this news article, I found myself thinking about Darfur United and the similarity we share with Pepsi in our purpose for creating the team. Of course there are also huge differences. Pespi is promoting its brand, and let’s not talk about their budget, but I found that Pepsi’s branding objectives of bringing this million dollar team together is similar to some of what we’re seeking to do with Darfur United.
For instance, Pepsi is bringing together this superstar squad “to bring fans closer to the game they love,” said the Pepsi chief. i-ACT created Darfur United to bring the refugees and the Darfuris closer to the game they love, and also to bring them closer to each other and the world through the game they love.
Chief Marketing Officer for PepsiCo, Middle East and Africa Region, Carla Hassan, said: “Here in the Middle East and Africa, the passion for football knows no bounds.” Working in the Darfuri refugee camps and creating the Darfur United team, we definitely know this to be true. The excitement and enthusiasm around football in the camps is palpable. Its always there. There is always a game of pick up, a child wearing a jersey, or an animated discussion of favorite teams and players.
Pepsi also talks about creating a line up of players from different regions that fans can admire. Creating the Darfur United team, we’re also hoping to build a team the Darfuris can admire and look up to. Our hope is that one day Darfuri children and youth might be replacing their jersey of Messi or Ronaldo, with that of M Haggar’s jersey!