Football's greatest tournament on climate
With 3.5 billion fans, football is the world’s most popular sport…in the UK alone, 78% of families are excited by it…can you imagine what we could do if we used the universal passion for this sport to tackle climate change? At Count Us In we did, and we gave free rein to our imagination.
In 2021, in the lead up to COP26, we teamed up with Planet Super League, the UK Government’s Together For Our Planet and Sky, to power CUP26: football’s biggest ever tournament on climate change.
49 professional football clubs participated in CUP26. For 8 weeks, they inspired their fans and local communities to take on planet-protecting activities to score “goals” for their club. Activities ranged from having a meat-free meal, to building draft excluders with old socks, to the Lucas Moura-backed No Moura Landfill, which challenged fans to do keepy-uppies with their recyclable waste and shoot them into the right bin.
CUP26 was launched at Wembley Stadium and celebrated fans of all ages and backgrounds taking climate action – as part of our outreach to 25,000 schools across the nation, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, visited a school and rolled up his sleeves with kids to plant veggies for school meals!
We tapped into the competitive spirit of football through the CUP26 Day of Action, where for a limited period fans were encouraged to take a hat-trick of impactful actions worth 3x the goals. And to wrap it up with the excitement it deserved, we held a special event in the frame of COP26, featuring football legend Ledley King and the Prime Minister’s COP26 Climate spokesperson where we awarded the CUP26 trophy to Cambridge United – a small but mighty club that beat Premier League heavyweights by bringing together its local communities.
CUP26 engaged fans to take more than 14,300 climate actions and it was celebrated by Sky News, Sky Sports News, ITV News, iNews, CNN, BBC The One Show and Daily Mail Online, reaching millions around the UK and beyond with a clear message that our steps may seem small when we take them alone, but when we come together, we can add up to something bigger.
CUP26 is just the beginning of harnessing the world’s most popular sport in the fight against climate change. Join us as we build even more exciting moments in 2022 and beyond!