Multi-national food and beverage giant Nestle, has thrown their contribution into the ring with regards to CSR initiatives around the upcoming World Cup in South Africa. Their 2009 project, the Milo Champions tournament, “brought almost 6 000 schools from around South Africa together in Soweto to compete for the trophy, as well as R100 000 (US$13 300) for the winning school to invest in a health, wellness or nutrition initiative.” Now, according to an article on Media Club South Africa, Nestle, via it’s Milo brand, has extended its Champions Tournament to the rest of the Continent.
“About 94 500 would-be football stars participated in the 2009 tournament, with around 75 000 children from some 4 800 schools taking part in the 2008 event. Global food giant Nestlé has invested generously in the Milo Champions tournament. In addition to the grand prize, each provincial winner walked off with R10 000 ($1 320), while the runner-up took home R75 000 and the third-placed team won R50 000 ($6 600).”
The article continues:
The programme is intended primarily to foster young football talent in South Africa while promoting an enthusiasm for the beautiful game and an awareness of the importance of healthy living. As well as valuable football coaching from top players, all participants received comprehensive nutritional education.
And in a smart move, Nestle has taken the competition to the rest of the continent, leveraging the Continental excitement generated by the on-going African Cup of Nations, and the anticipation of the upcoming World Cup. According to the article:
In anticipation of the first World Cup to take place on African soil, the Milo brand is deepening its association with football in South Africa by extending the Champions tournament to the entire African continent.
The inaugural African Milo Champions tournament was launched in September 2009 and features top under-13 teams from Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. Regional stages are already underway, and the final will take place in South Africa in May 2010, just before the month-long Fifa World Cup kicks off in June.
Nestle, though not an official sponsor of the World Cup, is smartly leveraging the excitement around football to increase awareness of their youth-focused Milo brand as well as give back to schools and students around South Africa and the Continent. This sort of event is right in-line with the Milo brand which focuses on nutrition and active lifestyles for children. While children aren’t the end-buyers, you can be sure that if a good experience was had with Milo and Nestle through this initiative (and if the products taste good, they’ll be asking their parents to pick up Milo during trips to the grocery.
Well done Nestle. And well-done to have noticed the excitement that will be gripping the entire Continent (rather than focusing only on South Africa) and using this opportunity to increase their brand awareness in markets around the Continent.