Global Partnership Marketing Agency Creates Campaign Aimed at Educating Football Fans on the Risks Posed by Water Complacency. 

27th February 2019, London – Lagardère Plus, the global partnership marketing agency of Lagardère Sports and Entertainment, has today helped launch a new marketing campaign called Closer Than You Think that will see water technology company Xylem and Manchester City FC educate football fans on the risks posed by water complacency.

Through creative, multimedia storytelling, Lagardère Plus has helped create for Xylem an initiative that will show audiences how every country on earth faces serious – and escalating – water issues, such as lack of access to clean drinking water and resilience challenges in the face of increasing severe weather patterns.

The campaign kicked off today with the launch of a dramatic video created by Brave, the award-winning creative agency that was acquired by Lagardère Plus in 2017. It features Manchester City players Sergio Agüero, David Silva and Ilkay Gündoğan and is filmed in the iconic Manchester City dressing room. The Changing Room features the players being surprised by a projection-mapped display which surrounds them with dystopian visions of the future – worlds faced with severe drought and flooding.

You can see the video below:

Over the coming weeks, the Closer To Home series will raise awareness of the diverse range of water issues faced across the world, as Manchester City players, Manchester City Women’s team players and New York City FC players discuss water challenges in their home countries. Fans are also invited to explore behind-the-scenes content and learn about water solving tips here.

The latest UN data estimates that 3.6 billion people – almost half the global population – currently live in areas that are potentially water-scarce at least one month per year and by 2050, more than 5 billion people could suffer water shortages due to climate change, increased demand and polluted supplies.

Commenting on the new campaign Tim Frith, Director of Consulting at Lagardère Plus, said: “Since being appointed as Xylem’s activation agency in July 2018 we have been working closely with Brave to develop Xylem’s creative campaign and are really excited to now be launching this, which not only represents the first campaign around Xylem’s partnership with MCFC, but also their first major B2C facing campaign. The campaign has been developed with the purpose of helping to elevate the water conversation to a global audience and this will kick off with the hugely innovative content piece, The Changing Room, which we captured using Xylem’s access to three of Manchester City’s first team players to further help ensure the content is relevant and engaging for fans. Over the coming months, the campaign will develop to include some more really exciting content and activations that we can’t wait to share with fans.”

Declan Garvin, Business Director of Brave, said: “The team at Brave are very proud of the content that has been produced for the launch of the Closer Than You Think campaign. By using complex projection animation, we have been able to transport viewers from the City dressing room into multiple geographies to learn about the water challenges faced. This is a multifaceted issue and the story will evolve to delve deeper into the challenges faced in specific countries – using City’s famous players as the storytellers. We look forward to monitoring the reaction of fans to the campaign in the coming months.”

Damian Willoughby, Senior Vice President of Partnership at City Football Group, parent of Manchester City, said: “At Manchester City we are committed to using football as a platform for improving the lives of people around the world and we are delighted to support Xylem for such an important campaign.”

Joseph Vesey, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Xylem, added:Closer Than You Think is centred on driving the global conversation about water challenges and solutions and inspiring the next generation of fans to think differently about water. With the support of Manchester City players, Manchester City Women’s team players and New York City FC, we have a unique opportunity to reach millions of fans around the world and inform more people about urgent issues that affect us all.”


About Lagardère Plus

Lagardère Plus is a global agency with a mission to transform traditional brand sponsorships into highly inventive and impactful marketing platforms. Plus has the expertise, experience, and privileged access of a global leader in sports, entertainment, media and lifestyle. We understand brands, fans and properties – and the dynamics between them – better than anyone. Whether your business is new to partnership marketing or a highly-experienced player, we hope to take you somewhere knew. Lagardère Plus has offices in Berlin, Dallas, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, London, Manchester, Munich, New York, Paris, Singapore, Shanghai, and Tokyo, and is part of Lagardère Sports and Entertainment, a company with more than 1,700 employees worldwide and 50 years of experience. For more information, find us at, on Instagram (lagardere_plus), Twitter (@Lagardere_Plus), and LinkedIn (èreplus).


James Francis
Edelman for Lagardère Plus
+44 (0)7812 734 731