The Reds unite for Unicef

Manchester United did not achieve the desired result against Leicester City that would have taken them to the top of the Premier League, but the club shone in its charitable efforts on the same weekend. The 16th annual United for Unicef gala dinner raised a record-breaking £230,000 for the charity.

Manchester United and its Foundation shared the events of the gala on social media, and fans showed enthusiasm for the generosity on display. Images and videos under the hashtag #United4Unicef received a high number of potential impressions, generating 17 times the impressions that all images posted by Manchester United’s official accounts generated over the entire day of the gala.

Given the significant engagement and potential impressions generated under the #United4Unicef hashtag, Manchester United should have leveraged its impact by challenging fans and sponsors to raise donations for Unicef in conjunction with the gala dinner. A fundraising campaign promoted under the hashtag would have allowed Manchester United and its Foundation to make an even more impressive charitable impact by encouraging already engaged fans to donate.

This would have been even more impactful had the club worked with its sponsors to spread the word. For example, Manchester United could have combined efforts with its shirt sponsor, Chevrolet, to utilise the automobile manufacturer’s social media presence to reach out to other markets to benefit Unicef.

Big clubs like Manchester United are known for their charity in addition to their football success. Understanding how to leverage their popularity to boost their charitable efforts will not only help worthy causes such as Unicef’s mission, but it will enable clubs to touch the lives of engaged fans beyond the results on the pitch.

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Russell Glenister • 4th December 2015

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