[SFS Journal Smile Leaders]
True Goal of the “Dream Goal 2010”
Many of Japanese people may have heard that Sony, a FIFA sponsor, operated public viewings on the occasion of the FIFA 2010 World Cup that was held in the South Africa. But few of them may know what was the real goal of the project.
During the FIFA 2010 World Cup, the ”Dream Goal 2010” operated fourteen pubic viewings in total both in Ghana and Cameroon, 11 places and 3 places respectively, and attracted 24000 kids to leave them with unforgettable memories. It is not that hard to imagine how the kids were delighted in the communities where the penetration rate of the TV. But we should not forget the true value of the “Dream Goal 2010”: the contribution to the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) by utilizing the power of sport which can excite and mobilize kids toward social good.
Simple public viewing and ticket donation have been implemented in Japan as well, but what makes the “Dream Goal 2010” innovative is that the project as collaboration among the corporation, international organizations, and NGOs was utilized as a tool to achieve the MDGs as well as it delivered significant social impact and contributed to the world. By setting up the HIV screening, which people usually hesitate to visit, alongside with the public viewing, the project dramatically increased the number of the people examined, which helped the early recognition of the fatal disease otherwise. It is this social impact that the “Dream Goal 2010” has delivered that should be valued. Sony donated tickets in Johannesburg as well, but it was not simple donations; the tickets were donated only to the kids who have taken the training.
MDGs are the eight goals for the global communities to be achieved by 2015 that were set by the United Nations, and above all, the goal related to the HIV is regarded as an important one. In fact, many of the programmes that are currently implemented in African countries operate education program to prevent HIV together with sports activities. In this sense, it was natural for “Dream Goal 2010” to target the HIV issues as a side event of its public viewings.
In Japan, it may sound as a brand new idea, but at a global level, especially in the community of sport-as-a-social-change, sports is regarded as something to deliver social impact when it is combined with some educational programmes, and few programs simply operate only sports activities, neither aims to do sports activities themselves. Sports event is regarded as the place for people get together, and it is expected to utilized as a means to change the world. This is “the power of sport” that is globally recognized. Given that, “Dream Goal 2010” qualifies for being regarded as the program of sport-as-a-social-change, and Sony, the organizer of the project was awarded with the Corporate of the Year at Beyond Sport Summit last year as the first-ever Japanese company to be recognized.
The way to the prestigious award, though, was not an easy path.
According to Mr. Tomita, the GM of CSR of Sony, “Dream Goal 2010” originally started with a voice by an employee who wanted to deliver the exciting games to the kids of disadvantaged areas of the participating countries in the 2010 World Cup. It developed as the company’s CSR programme by combining with the HIV prevention programme. Ghana and Cameroon were selected as a result of the consideration in terms of the penetration rate of TV and the security level. In Ghana, Sony asked JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) which has its office and has already established local network to collaborate, but the first hurdle for them was the time restriction. Ms. Keiko Sano, then manager of the JICA Ghana office look back on the beginning of the project, mentioning “Sony first contacted us in October in 2008, and it seemed they did not have internal consensus at that time. Ghana was selected as the operating country in April in the following year, but the device test has not been completed yet. At the Confederations Cup in June trials have been done finally, and it has been a series of unbelievably hasted and urgent operations since we partnered.
JICA created private sector relations division in October in 2008, and they have operated some CSR support from private-sector perspectives. The collaboration with “Dream Goal 2010” was approved at the end as it is expected to create opportunities for Japanese people to better understand Africa, but according to Mr. Kunihiro Yamauchi, then head of JICA Ghana office, JICA hesitated at the beginning as at that time there had not been any precedence to use sport in that large scale. However, the project of HIV education that JICA started in Ghana in 2005 coincidentally came to end at the same timing, and “Dream Goal 2010” was regarded as an alternative means to continue the HIV education, possibly delivering more significant impact with the brand power of the FIFA World Cup and Sony.
On the other hand, the local operation was virtually crazy busy and hard; the operation team had to set up the big screen and peripheral equipment in the areas without sufficient electricity, and to organize some community events before the night public viewing in collaboration with local NGOs such as soccer games and plays, as well as to leave a community on the next day without any rest. Many JICA volunteers helped the management of the community events, and the 18 public viewing events in total attracted about 20,000 kids and people to encourage 3,000 people to go to the HIV test, which is as 2.5 times as usual, to successfully deliver such a social impact.
For Cameroon, Sony had difficulties to find a partner, as JICA did not have its office and local network in the country. Fortunately, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) showed interest, and Sony asked UNDP to collaborate, and they accepted the offer. UNDP has been so successful with the “Match Against Poverty,” which is a charity match between UNDP team led by Zidan and Ronaudo, and a local club team to donate proceeds to UNDP-designated beneficiaries. According to Mr. Nishigori of UNDP Tokyo, UNDP has been looking for ways to utilize the visibility of the FIFA World Cup to raise awareness of issues in Africa, which is the UNDP’s one of the most important target areas, and “Dream Goal 2010” seemed ideal for the UNDP.
With such an influential global partner, however, it was not an easy start again. First of all, while the UNDP has its office in Tokyo, Team Sony had to work with global personnel with various backgrounds of the big international organization, not with Japanese, and in addition, the native language in the country was French. While the scheme was the same as Ghana’s, organizing community events before the night public viewing, and to operate public viewings with HIV prevention and treatment programs, Team Sony had to work like as a fish out of water in a totally different circumstances as those in Ghana in which they worked with Japanese and local people using Japanese or English.
Mr. Nishigori emphasized “The success of this project is really a result of the tears and efforts of Team Sony.” Mr. Tomita of Sony, who represented the project at Beyond Sport Summit where former UK Prime Minister Toni Blair was present, mentioned on the stage after being awarded: “Sony aimed not only to deliver the world’s top plays to disadvantaged kids, but also tried to tackle on the HIV prevention as a global issue. Sony’s achievement is remarkable in that the company was able to regard the MDGs, which only less than five per cent of Japanese companies recognize, as the core of their CSR strategies, to decide to implement the seemingly impossible project in the non-English communities without solid partnership with Japanese organizations, and to successfully deliver such a social impact after concurring many obstacles.
By the way, in addition to public viewing and ticket donation, “Dream Goal 2010” includes ”Join the Team,” which donate sustainable balls made from vegetable-based plastics, and “Siyakhona,” which means “We can do it” in the local language and which provided local kids with devices to create a visual recod as well as furnishes them with the skills t communicate their work to society at large. I actually met with those local kids in their 10s and early 20s, and some of them told me with stars in their eyes “I want to be a journalist in the future,” which warmed my heart knowing that the average re-crime rate in the country is 85 per cent.
These activities cannot be operated without the help by local NGOs, and streetfootballworld is one of the big contributors to the ideal project in terms of the collaboration between the corporations and NGOs.
streetfootballworld, which collaborated with Sony in Cameroon and other countries, is a globally recognized platform to promote soccer as a tool for social change which has developed a network of close to 100 NGOs from more than 60 countries, as of May 2012. It is highly valued at a global level, and its founder and CEO Mr. Jurgen Griesbeck is an Ashoka Fellow who was awarded with the Year of the Social Entrepreneur by World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2011 as well as made a speech at this year’s WEF. The passionate activist described on the merit of the collaboration with Sony through ”Dream Goal 2010”:
“What our member NGOs have wanted is to make presence and to deliver their voice to the world. Sony as a FIFA sponsor has close relationship with football, has an overwhelming presence as a global firm and understands the value of passion linked to a global phenomenon, in this case soccer.”
”Dream Goal 2010” has made a difference, in realizing the collaboration between the corporation, government/international organizations, and the NGOs, and it successfully delivered such social impact to contribute to international society. While they say that the sport is a universal language, this project made us realized what an effective tool the sport is to change the world. After completing “Dream Goal 2010,” Sony has further developed its scheme to apply to their different CSR program in Tanzania, whose visual record was projected during a WEF session which was attended by former US President Clinton.
“The Power of Sport” has been increasingly making a difference around the world.
Writer: Mie Kajikawa