Efforts focus on raising awareness about diversity, acceptance, inclusion, and respect through action and partnership with community organizations and key stakeholders
MIAMI -- CONCACAF announced Wednesday the "Let’s Live in a State of GOAL!" campaign, a corporate social responsibility program aimed at promoting diversity, acceptance, inclusion, and respect among fans and other members of the football community throughout the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Inspired by the diverse communities served by the Confederation, as well as its mission and values, the campaign has been designed to encourage fans to act in, and embrace, a manner that reflects the ideals and passion that the game promotes. To support this initiative, CONCACAF is working with key stakeholders on education and actions focused on promoting acceptance and respect in and around its Gold Cup matches.
"A defining moment in our game is a goal, it unites fans in a celebration of joy and pride, it is a powerful and unique instant where we all share our passion for the game regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, color, religion, national origin, or disability status," said CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani. "Gold Cup fans and the 12 participating teams are a true reflection of the diverse cultures around our region. Our premier competition provides a unique platform to create positive impact in the communities we serve."
The 14th edition of the continental championship will begin Friday, July 7 at Red Bull Arena in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area. That opening double header features a Group A match-up of perennial Central American rivals, Honduras and Costa Rica and 2000 champion Canada facing newcomer French Guiana.
The "Let’s Live in a State of GOAL!” campaign features a range of initiatives meant to inspire fans to experience the Gold Cup in a state of mind that is in line with the unique euphoria of the game’s defining moment – the goal. The program includes multiple pillars designed to promote this state of mind and create an environment in which fans and others at and around the matches can more readily and frequently enjoy the State of GOAL.
Around the matches, the campaign consists of a series of outreach initiatives including football clinics with children and young adults, enhanced by positive messages from participating players and teams. The campaign will feature TV, radio and online messaging that celebrates the culture of football fans, while fostering respect and unity.
In this regard, CONCACAF will join forces with Special Olympics North America and UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean region to carry out advocacy and communication activities on different platforms to further raise awareness about inclusion.
“Special Olympics is excited to have our athletes included in the events surrounding CONCACAF’s Gold Cup. The “Let’s Live in a State of GOAL!” campaign is aligned with the same goals of our organization: acceptance, inclusion and respect,” said Special Olympics Senior Director of Sports, Greg Epperson. “Utilizing the world’s most popular sport as our vehicle, the unifying and transformative power of sport will be on display both on and off the field.”
"Children and adolescents with disabilities, LGBT, migrant, indigenous and Afro-descendants are exposed to many forms of exclusion, violence and discrimination, denying them the opportunity to lead fulfilling lives," said UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean region, Maria Cristina Perceval. “We are happy to partner with CONCACAF because thanks to the convening power of football we will be able to reach millions of people with this important message.”
As an integral part of the campaign, the Confederation will hold for the first time ever a series of social initiatives and football clinics, in a joint effort with global and local organizations, as well as host cities to promote the campaign’s core values, while educating through football about the importance of understanding and respecting diversity.
The football clinics will take place throughout the tournament ahead of the 25 matches providing an opportunity in which approximately 600 youth and children of all ages, will learn about core themes while increasing their skillset within the game. The events will allow participants to attend the corresponding match.
Additionally, CONCACAF is partnering with the following organizations to host these football experiences for children: America SCORES, San Francisco 49ers, LA Galaxy Foundation (A Place Called Home), Soccer Without Borders, Special Olympics, streetfootballworld, US Youth Soccer, New Jersey Youth Soccer, the Just One Soccer League, The Non-Violence Project, as well as the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission (City of Cleveland Division of Recreation and America SCORES Cleveland), the Dallas Sports Commission, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp (NFCY - Nashville FC Ultimate Goal Ministries), and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission (Tampa Police Athletic League).
As a further pillar to the “Let’s Live in a State of GOAL!” campaign, CONCACAF will also launch pre-Gold Cup a wide-ranging stadium experience improvement plan. To execute this pillar, to be announced on the eve of Gold Cup kickoff, CONCACAF has partnered with a wide range of stake holders to create an action plan designed to make the stadium experience more accepting and inclusive, and to improve the fan experience across the board.