Last update: 01/12/2021
To mark the final of the CONMEBOL Libertadores, we’re launching the #Callforchange campaign that demands transformation on and off the pitch, and we want to take part of it.
During November football is the only topic of conversation across South America. A new edition of the CONMEBOL Libertadores has come to an end and São Paulo's Palmeiras retained the championship title in the region where football is cherished the most by beating Flamengo (2-1) in a thrilling match, after last year's win over Santos. Both teams made the lovers of the beautiful game vibrate beyond their borders and Montevideo became the center of South American soccer with nearly 60,000 Brazilians filling the stands of the historic Centenario stadium, the same stadium that hosted the first World Cup in history, back in 1930.
As has been the case for the past 13 years, Banco Santander was involved in the celebration of the final of the Conmebol Libertadores, supporting soccer as a sport that is more than a passion but a driver of social change to be reckoned. In the days leading up to the final, the Uruguayan capital hosted a complete fan zone, known as the "Fan Embassy’’, where thousands of soccer fans passed through. Some of them were lucky enough to share the experience with Sebastián "Loco" Abreu, the legendary Uruguayan player who left soccer at the age of 44 after playing for 31 teams. Quite a record.
There was also space and time for thousands of female fans to immortalize their time at the grand final with an optical illusion soccer-style photograph, while two soccer matches, one with men and the other with women, were held in the mini-stadium located in the fan zone set up by Banco Santander in Montevideo.
Once again this year, and before the big match of the year in South America, we organized the Santander Media House, this time from Sao Paulo, with the stellar participation of Ronaldo Nazario, global ambassador of Banco Santander's sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League. The virtual meeting with journalists was attended by more than 60 professionals from 9 countries who were able to interview the Brazilian star, together with Marcos Silveira, idol of the Palmeiras fans, and Leo Moura, who wore the Flamengo jersey for a decade. The three took part in a program for ESPN and were interviewed by TV stations in five countries.
The soccer event in Uruguay has also served as the perfect setting to launch our latest campaign. Aware that soccer has a positive impact on people's lives, at Santander we do not want to stop. That is why we are committed to calling for change, a term linked to the world of soccer: a transformation that is not only limited to the field of play, but that makes the leap to society and our behaviors. To accelerate this, we rely on sponsorships such as the CONMEBOL Female Libertadores, which we started a year ago.
In line with this paradigm shift, from Santander we also want to give relevance to the figure of women not only as players, but also as transmitters of soccer values. The usual image is that of a man taking his son to the stadium to enjoy the games of his favorite team, but we, in our desire to transform society through the beautiful game, we look at the passion with which a mother and daughter live soccer. Even though their teams may be rivals and are playing to be the best in South America.
At Banco Santander we are convinced that soccer is not just for men and that women are also very capable of using their strength to educate respect and diversity through the beautiful game.
Women and girls like those who witnessed the grand final of the women's competition held last weekend at Montevideo's Gran Parque Central, which ended with the title going to Brazilian side Corintihians, who beat Independiente de Santa Fe 2-0 in the final. We made the dream of four little girls from different countries who play and love soccer come true and who, for the first time, were able to follow the final live through our Escort Kids program.
Meanwhile, in the men's final of the Conmebol Libertadores, the starting teams of both Palmeiras and Flamengo took to the pitch at the Centenario in Montevideo accompanied by a group of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Our work to drive change
The sponsorship of the second most important club competition in the soccer world, only behind the UEFA Champions League, is encompassed under the umbrella of FootballCan, the strategy with which we promote the positive impact of soccer on society as an engine to transform it. This has been the context for creating projects through which we have committed as a brand to play a real role in that transformation.
Stories such as that of Mahia Macías, the Uruguayan girl who managed to play in a boy's team and become its captain, and who had the opportunity to train with Club Deportivo Tacón (today Real Madrid female’s team); the creation of Fieeld, a device for the blind people that allowed fans to feel a soccer match with their hands; the Banco Santander International Women's Soccer Scholarships, launched in collaboration with AGM; or the most recent FootballCan 2041, the competition in which startups from more than 20 countries have helped us with innovation solutions to transform and imagine the soccer of the next 20 years with a focus on inclusion, diversity and sustainability.
Only by driving and being part of the change, we can make it happen. #Letscallforchange and let's ask for it now so that, together, we can continue to build a soccer that is not different, but a better soccer.