Barclays lauds top football fans in last major campaign as Premier League title sponsor

Barclays is launching its last big ad campaign as the title sponsor of the Premier League, as its 15-year deal comes to an end in June.

The campaign, called "I am one", will kick off a search for a worthy fan to present the trophy in May to the winning team of England’s top football competition.

The TV ad, created by Havas Sports & Entertainment Cake, focuses on three people who have benefited from Barclays’ sponsorship of the Premier League, such as through ticket giveaways and investment in local football initiatives.

With the help of a voiceover from former England captain Alan Shearer, the ad explains that "you could be the one" to win a chance to present the trophy, as well as win other prizes, through its Spirit of the Game competition. 

Barclays’ title sponsorship comes to an end after this season’s climax and the Premier League is not looking for another sponsor. Instead the Premier League has hired Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R to create ads as it looks to maximise having a "clean" brand around the world. The bank will remain the Premier League’s financial sponsor.

Freddie Sassoon, Alex Groom and Jess Burling created the ad at Havas SE Cake, and it was directed by Ben Jones through Dark Energy Films. Maxus handles the media planning and buying for Barclays.

Barclays will also launch further ads featuring current and former footballers across TV, socal media and outdoor ads in football stadiums. 

Nathan Homer, the head of global sponsorship and partnerships at Barclays, said the campaign was part of its strategy to "restore warmth and trust to its brand". 

He said: "The campaign has evolved over the years. It’s about showing people that we use all the assets we got, such as giving 100,000 tickets to fans and customers over the years. We take the trophy all the around the country each year."

Homer confirmed this would be Barclays’ last big campaign as the title sponsor, but insisted the bank would still be able to make a big marketing play as the Premier League’s financial partner.

"We won’t have the [Barclays branded] badge anymore, but that isn’t a big problem for us", he said. "We don’t have an awareness problem in the UK… being the title sponsor was fabulous for building awareness and stature but now we are in a place where we can consolidate... in most markets we can deliver [our key objectives] with the assets we already have.

"In Africa, for example, we have a campaign to get people to open bank accounts. That campaign has worked very well and includes the IP of the Premier League. We will still have the rights to do that. We can run the same ad and change two words in the script."

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