Kia Motors was an Official Partner of the UEFA Europa League (UEL) between 2018-2021.
To maintain a presence at the UEL Final, during a time when in stadia activations were unable to take place due to Covid-19, Kia and UEFA successfully evolved the Official Match Ball Carrier (OMBC) into a virtual experience for the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League Final in Cologne, Germany – Kia’s European home.
In unprecedented times, the aim of the activity was scaled back to create one truly memorable experience for a child while evoking Kia’s vision of ‘Empowering Fans’.
The participant was 10-year-old football fan Justus, who lives with Asperger and Tourette syndromes, Justus was chosen from the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk charity in cooperation with Kia Deutschland.
Using the a 360-degree camera, Justus virtually carried the match ball onto the pitch inside the stadium via a VR headset while physically carrying his own match ball to a plinth from the comfort of his own home.
To add to this, Justus also got to greet the players and match officials as they arrived at the stadium via video call and was accompanied throughout the day by legendary German footballer Michael Ballack, all managed through virtual filming.
As a result of the activity, Kia has stayed committed to its vision of ‘Empowering Fans’ by bringing the OMBC experience to 10.4m football fans achieving 28.9k engagements and 5.52m video views in the process as well as giving a once in a lifetime experience to a very special fan.