Last year's Euro 2020 soccer tournament saw U.K. telecom giant BT create "Hope United," a special team of ambassadors drawing attention to online hate and trolling among soccer fans. Now, the brand is taking the campaign into the gaming world as part of EA Sports' FIFA 22.
In a campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi marketing Safer Internet Day, BT and EA Sports will encourage gamers to equip their FIFA 22 Ultimate Tea players with the Hope United kit in-game, for free.
Saatchi & Saatchi also created a TV spot, seen here, highlighting that online abuse doesn’t only affect the players on the pitch, it also impacts on the gamers controlling them. The film is airing on the BT Sport TV channel and on Twitch, while social ads will also run from across Facebook and Instagram.
BT is also launching new tech tips to tackle online hate as part of the campaign, and BT Sport will today (Feb. 8) host a Hope United FIFA Challenge, which will see soccer players Declan Rice, Michail Antonio and Trent Alexander-Arnold and four of the best FIFA esport players, Tekkz, Lisa Manley, FUTcrunch and Ebru, battle it out for the Hope Cup, while opening up on their own experiences of online hate. This will air on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport’s YouTube channel.
“Last year we brought the UK’s biggest tech company together with the nation’s biggest footballers to create Hope United in an effort to combat online hate," said William John, creative director at Saatchi and Saatchi, in a statement. "In 2022 we’re taking things even further by launching Hope United’s kit into the biggest sports video game on the planet, continuing our fight against toxicity and reaching more people than ever before in order to continue driving cultural change.”
James Salmon, EA Sports FIFA marketing director, added: “Video games should be fun, fair, and safe for everyone, we want players to enjoy the best possible experience online. We take our responsibilities seriously, providing tools and helping players understand how to use them effectively. That’s why we’ve joined forces with BT Hope United and stand alongside them in asking our players to tackle online hate together.”