Premier League Champions, Manchester City and Xylem have teamed up to launch the ‘Closer Than You Think’ campaign to drive awareness of urgent water challenges among millions of football fans around the world. The latest UN data estimates that 3.6 billion people – almost half the global population – currently live in areas that are potentially water-scarce at least one month per year and, by 2050, more than 5 billion people could suffer water shortages due to pressures such as climate change, increased demand and polluted supplies. Through creative, multimedia storytelling, the Xylem-Manchester City initiative will show audiences how every country on earth faces serious – and escalating – water issues, such as lack of access to clean drinking water and resilience challenges in the face of increasing severe weather patterns.
The campaign kicked off today with the launch of a dramatic video featuring Manchester City players Sergio Agüero, David Silva and Ilkay Gündoğan. Filmed in the iconic Manchester City dressing room, The Changing Room sees the players surprised by a projection-mapped display that surrounds them with dystopian visions of the future – worlds faced with severe drought and flooding. Over the coming weeks, the Closer To Home video series will raise awareness of the diverse range of water issues faced across the world, as Manchester City players, Manchester City Women’s team players and New York City FC players discuss water challenges in their home countries. Fans are invited to explore behind-the-scenes content and learn about water solving tips here.
Patrick Decker, Xylem President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “As part of Xylem’s commitment to creating social value, we are leveraging creative partnerships to extend our reach and elevate the global conversation on water. The reality is that the threats posed by the world’s water challenges are getting closer for us all, and this campaign is about raising awareness of these challenges and solutions, and inspiring people of all ages globally to help create a more water-secure world. We’re excited to build on our unique partnership with Manchester City, which aims to use the power of football to help spread our crucial message and, ultimately, further our mission to solve water.”
Damian Willoughby, Senior Vice President of Partnership at City Football Group, parent of Manchester City, said: “At Manchester City we are committed to using football as a platform for improving the lives of people around the world, and we are delighted to support Xylem for such an important campaign.”
Joseph Vesey, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Xylem, added: “Closer Than You Think is centered on driving the global conversation about water challenges and solutions and inspiring the next generation of fans to think differently about water. With the support of Manchester City players, Manchester City Women’s team players and New York City FC, we have a unique opportunity to reach millions of fans around the world and inform more people about urgent issues that affect us all.”
As part of Xylem’s multi-year partnership with Manchester City, Xylem recently partnered with the Club to deliver clean water towers, WASH education, and sports and leadership training to communities in Bangalore, India, as part of an initiative that will benefit over 5,000 children this year. The ‘Cityzens Giving’ project ‘Water Goals,’ sponsored by Xylem, earned the top ranking among six projects in Manchester City’s annual Cityzens Giving global community initiative, receiving more than 450,000 votes from football fans around the world. The Water Goals project in Bangalore is part of Xylem’s ongoing social impact initiative, conducted by the company’s corporate citizenship program Watermark, alongside Xylem’s partner Planet Water Foundation, which is responsible for water tower construction.