RANGERS may have lifted the CIS Insurance Cup thanks to their victory over Motherwell, but Cup sponsor Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) ensured that local communities also benefited.
As well as achieving coverage across a wide spectrum of media, CIS used the Cup sponsorship as a platform to demonstrate its brand values of openness, honesty and social inclusion. This was achieved through numerous linked projects including children's grassroots initiatives, tackling environmental issues and directly engaging football fans.
The largest grass-roots project undertaken this year was the CIS Borders Football Programme, which set up football coaching sessions for five to 11-year-olds in seven Borders towns with limited facilities afor play football. Due to the investment by CIS, over 500 children now enjoy regular football coaching.
Other initiatives included two junior teams given the chance to represent Cup finalists Motherwell and Rangers at their own CIS Insurance Youth Cup Final held prior to the main Final. CIS also took its football roadshow to Edinburgh at Easter and over 80 children were put through their paces. CIS-branded football kits and footballs were distributed to children's football teams through competitions run with media partners in Scotland.
It doesn't stop with children and young people Ã¯Â¿Â½ during the weekend before the CIS Insurance Cup Final, CIS held a football fun day in Motherwell for the whole town. People were able to test the speed and accuracy of their shots and dribbling skills on an inflatable football pitch and have their photograph taken with the CIS Insurance Cup.
Issues relating to protecting the environment are also important for CIS and it enlisted climate change company Future Forests which calculated that 615 tonnes of CO2 Ã¯Â¿Â½ the equivalent of 3,000 return flights from London to Glasgow Ã¯Â¿Â½ would be generated by fans at the Final. CIS offset the CO2 emissions through planting 3,000 trees on the Isle of Skye, renowned as one of Scotland's most outstanding natural landscapes.
Sarah Davies, Environment Manager for CIS said: "We were delighted to have offset the CO2 emissions of fans travelling to the Cup Final. We want to raise awareness of the importance of tackling climate change, while helping to improve Skye's biodiversity."
Competitions ran in the media throughout the tournament also increase CIS brand awareness. It offered fans the chance to win match tickets, VIP hospitality places and mascot packages.
Additional initiatives were also set up around the Final including the chance for a young artist to design the match programme cover and for a child to be an accredited member of the press for the day.