Shortlisted 2022

Financial Services


Banco Santander

Entered by:

Arena Media and Havas Spain

FootballCan 2041

The Challenge

Santander is a Spanish multinational financial services company. For years, it has been supporting sports and specifically football through the sponsorship of major competitions.

Under its global strategy #footballcan which started 2 years ago, the bank promotes the positive impact football CAN have on society as an agent of change capable of transforming the lives of millions of people. Santander uses its football sponsorship as a key business driver through which to transfer brand DNA and connect with audiences reluctant to have an emotional bond with the sector.

Football helps them to break that barrier, but at the same time it requires us to compete in a territory where the best brands are present.

Santander needed to go a step further and continue developing initiatives that help the bank’s purpose of improving people’s lives through football. To do so, they had to come up with ideas that were leveraged on their strategic values: sustainability, inclusion, and diversity.

Football is not perfect. For example, a European football team’s stadium consumes an average of 8 million KW/hour per year, which is equivalent to the annual electric expenditure of 2,500 households. Gender pay gap: Ada Hegerberg, was the first woman to win a golden ball, a historical feat in 2018, nevertheless, she earned three hundred times less than her male counterpart Leo Messi.

There is still a long way to go, but we wanted to let society know that Santander is not only sensible to these issues, but that it is also taking concrete steps to change things.


  • Raise awareness of the importance of inclusion, diversity, and sustainability through football.
  • Generate conversation about the challenges of the future of football.
  • Convey the bank’s values through a long-term project.
  • Generate general awareness and strengthen Banco’s Santander positioning globally.

The Content Solution

The creative idea is imagining what the football of the future might look like, we instilled that in all our campaign initiatives that align with the bank’s purpose and contribute to diversity, inclusion, and sustainability through the “Beautiful Game”.

To deliver on its commitment to make football more open and environmentally conscious, Santander and GSIC (powered by Microsoft) created an international innovation contest to reward tech ideas and solutions that make the football world better.

From what was initially a startup challenge, we designed a project with a great transmedia journey that pursued the involvement of the whole society at an international level to achieve together the purpose of making football better.

The idea of the football of the future was conveyed through various editorial content, video pills, strong presence on Twitter with various formats, TV programs, streams with influencers and the production of two documentaries.

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

During almost 5 months, we carried out the following activations in the key markets for Banco Santander: Spain, United Kingdom, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile.

Phase 1
We launched FootballCan 2041 and announced the opening of the call for our Startups Challenge worldwide. We used PR through press releases, videos on social media, newsletter and general media with which Santander has agreements to let the people know about the initiative.

Phase 2
While the startups were working on their ideas, we transferred the challenges of the football of the future to the people through media and channels that allowed us to create that conversation.

We opened 2 Twitter threads with the help of 2 influencers where we created a debate about the ethical future of football. We were also pioneers in using the Twitter Spaces format where we invited technology experts, paralympic athletes, sports journalists, and inclusion experts to talk about different topics.

Phase 3
It was time to find out the winning ideas of the startup challenge. We broadcasted the final in 5 countries: In Spain in Movistar+, ESPN for LATAM and it could be watched live worldwide on Twitter.

Phase 4
We launched our documentaries with a distribution plan that contemplated not only traditional digital channels and networks, but also cinema and were able to adapt to new platforms and audiences.

We also created trailers and short videos that we shared through our social media channels and worked with 3 streamers who reacted and discussed them on Twitch and TikTok.

The Result

+200 startups around the world participated in the challenge.

3 startups are developing their prototypes thanks to Santander and GSIC to improve football.

The campaign had a total of 219M impressions among all its formats.

In the 5 countries where it was active, it reached 63.5M people.

The audio-visual formats reached 864M viewers (duplicated) and 30.8M views.

The formats had 19.8M user interactions.

Documentaries likeability of 70% in Spain (89% Italy. 62% UK).

76% brand attribution.

5-point contribution to brand awareness among those who watched the documentaries.