14 February 2018

Having been selected as one of the non-profit organisations supported through the Google Grants donation programme, streetfootballworld was allocated a sum of $10,000 per month towards in-kind AdWords™ advertising. To put these funds to the most effective use, streetfootballworld teamed up with Gramercy Global Media, a digital marketing agency with offices in New York, London, Singapore, Munich and – streetfootballworld’s home base – Berlin. The agency that specialises in search engine marketing, SEO, social media marketing, web analytics and website monetisation offered their services pro-bono after being introduced to the field of football for good by streetfootballworld Associate and Partnerships Director, Johannes Axster. 


Gramercy Global’s Managing Director, Troy Pugmire, took the time to outline the scope of the partnership, the mutual goals of his agency and streetfootballworld over the past year and how, as a football fan and keen footballer, he understands the transformative power of the sport.


What initiated the collaboration with streetfootballworld? What lead you to offer your capacity and expertise? 


Johannes Axster and I have attended quite a few football conferences together, and as I kept learning more about streetfootballworld and its good cause, we became interested in offering our support.


In simple terms (also for those more comfortable football-kicking than mouse-clicking!) can you explain the content and scope of the campaign? 


We’re promoting different areas streetfootballworld is engaged in with our online marketing expertise. Through our management of Google AdWords campaigns we help to raise awareness about the partnerships you are offering. This includes CSR, employee engagement, infrastructure, HR and marketing. If people are searching on Google for these topics, they see our ads and are made aware of what streetfootballworld has to offer. We’re also promoting the newsletter and magazine, with the goal to generate more registrations, so people can stay informed about the work you’re doing around the world. 


When the collaboration kicked off, what were your main hopes and expectations?


We have worked with other non-profits and their online marketing campaigns in the past, so we had a good idea of what can be accomplished. Often organisations struggle with getting their message ‘out there’ so helping increase web site traffic and newsletter sign ups was definitely on our list. 


Looking back at the past year’s AdWords campaign for streetfootballworld – what have been the main successes? 


The main success is the valuable and qualified traffic we are able to drive to the website. From month to month important metrics such as Impressions, Clicks and Website Conversions keep increasing. People are becoming more aware of the organisation and everything streetfootballworld is about and involved in.


You work mainly with corporates and professional football clubs, but have previously had other clients from the football for good field, such as streetfootballworld network member Albion in the Community. How can your work make a difference to such organisations? 


As I mentioned, we work on quite a few google campaigns for non-profits and have seen how programmes that support outreach to children or the underprivileged can help communities.


How do such projects add value to your own company and work?


We all enjoy working on projects that we feel make a real difference. It’s great to give back to organisations that help others. 


How does your involvement with streetfootballworld fit into your corporate social responsibility agenda? 


A long time ago we identified the desire to not only generate more business, which is, of course, also very important, but also to find organisations that are really trying to make a difference but might not have the necessary tools, resources or capacity to do so. In addition to sports organisations we also support a classical music group, art and language schools. 


You yourself are a football fan and keen footballer. What do you love about the game and working with the industry? 


Not everyone gets to work in a field that is also a hobby and that involves a lot of passion – and I am grateful for this. The work is interesting as there are many facets to our marketing work which includes Merchandising, Ticketing, Memberships, Club TV, Kid’s Clubs etc. I enjoy watching an Arsenal London match as well as a small amateur match as much as I enjoy organising and playing in my year-round weekly football match in New York’s Chinatown. Last year I started coaching the U15 Manhattan Kickers team, which my daughter plays on – this was a great experience as well.


What does football for good mean to you? Had you heard about the field before coming into contact with streetfootballworld?


I actually had not heard of streetfootballworld until I met Johannes but I believe strongly that football is not only big business but also a tool to enact social change.


How do you think football can change the world for the better? 


I believe there is a tremendous opportunity to help children develop and guide them in the right direction with the help of sports. There is the camaraderie, teamwork and characteristics such as discipline and giving your best effort that can help children grow and mature. But I have also been impressed with projects such as the use of football for peace and reconciliation in Colombia or the increase of women or girls playing football around the world.