KISS Marketing Awards highlight FAs' quality

Europe's national associations have been praised for the excellence of their marketing initiatives at the latest KISS Marketing Awards ceremony in Cascais, Portugal.

Award winners at the 2014 UEFA KISS Marketing Awards ceremony in Cascais, Portugal
Award winners at the 2014 UEFA KISS Marketing Awards ceremony in Cascais, Portugal ©Diogo Pinto

Europe's national associations are producing outstanding work in the field of marketing – and are being rewarded for their excellence by UEFA's annual KISS Marketing Awards. The 2014 awards ceremony took place in Cascais, Portugal, on Thursday during the KISS Marketing Best Practices and Trends Workshop.

The marketing awards, organised for the first time in 2011, are staged under the auspices of UEFA's Knowledge & Information Sharing Scenario (KISS), a programme whereby associations exchange know-how and expertise with the aim of improving European football. Excellence is celebrated in this crucial area of modern-day football, given that marketing is key in reinforcing the identity of a national team, club or fan base.

The awards demonstrate the first-class promotion of football that is going on across UEFA's associations in all four corners of Europe – work which is deserving of UEFA's backing, and which provides constant mutual inspiration and encouragement for all the associations as they develop exciting marketing strategies.

The awards focus strictly on marketing matters – brand building, sponsorship, digital marketing, fan engagement, football promotion, marketing research, merchandising and licensing. Award categories are Best Digital Fan Engagement Campaign; Best Fan Experiential Promotion; Best Sponsorship Activation; Best Brand Strategy and Implementation; and Best Grassroots Marketing Campaign. Awards for creativity and innovation are also given in each category.

Once more, the awards have attracted wide interest, with 37 European associations submitting 51 projects across the various categories. The winners were selected by a jury of five high-profile members: Dennis Thom (head of marketing, Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co); Gareth Dunsmore (general manager marketing communications, Nissan Europe SAS); Adrian Goldthorpe (managing partner, Lothar Böhm Associates Ltd); Sam Kelly (head of business development and marketing, AKQA) and Thierry Lardinoit (director, International Observatory of Sports Consumption).

"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."

"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) – '3x3 Girls Tournament'