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Peace Cup soccer tournament promotes SMS charity donations

The Peace Cup's "It's not a game" campaign is raising funds for the nonprofit Peace Dream Foundation through premium SMS donations.

Mobile marketing technology provider Velti is powering the mobile donation initiative that includes contest entries for every person that registers their support throughout the event. The tournament started on July 24 with a 2-1 win for Juventus over Sevilla, and it runs until the final on the Aug. 2 in Seville, Spain.

"This is the fourth Peace Cup, but it's the first time they've ever used mobile as part of the tournament," said Philip Gontier, vice president of sales, Europe, at Velti, Madrid, Spain. "The main aim is to reach out to the tournament's audience of 200 million people worldwide and, of course, to raise funds.

"The Peace Dream Foundation is a charitable organization using soccer as the global language to promote peace and goodwill, and its main source of revenue is ticket sales, people attending the matches, as well as revenue coming from broadcasting rights in Spain and abroad," he said.

"The strategy behind using mobile is to reach a young audience, not necessarily soccer fans, they might not buy tickets, but they have an affinity with the cause, so they would donate via SMS."

The Peace Cup is an international soccer tournament that runs every two years to promote peace by bridging cultural differences through sport.

World stars including Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored during Real Madrid's 4-2 win against Liga de Quito, are on show during the tournament.

Participating soccer clubs include Sevilla FC, Juventus, Seongnam, Real Madrid, Liga de Quito, Al-Ittihad, Malaga, Aston Villa, Atlante, Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon), Besiktas and FC Porto.

With operations in 35 countries, Velti claims it can reach an estimated 2 billion consumers using the mobile channel.

Velti is supporting the tournament alongside key sponsors Adidas, TUI, Marca, Ticketmaster, ASAP Sports and Junta de Andalucia.

In order to promote the event, an integrated advertising campaign that is currently running across Spanish TV, as well as outdoor, online and in the soccer stadiums.

Velti is powering a competition for premium SMS donations and the short code is being included on all advertising material.

By sending an SMS with the keyword PAZ (PEACE) to the short code 5008, anyone in Spain can make a donation to the Peace Dream Foundation.

The donator is then automatically entered into a drawing to win an opportunity to meet the Peace Cup star footballers (soccer players), VIP tickets to the group games and the final, as well as exclusive signed memorabilia.

The call-to-action also appears in on-site electronic perimeter advertising at the soccer stadiums in Madrid, Seville and Malaga, on the tickets themselves, ads in the Marca newspaper, the No. 1 sports daily in Spain, on TV and on the Spanish version of the Peace Cup's Web site.

"The Peace Dream Foundation wanted to basically raise funds, and mobile is a totally new channel which they've never touched before, so it's another way of raising revenue for a good cause," Mr. Gontier said. "Generally football is associated with 18-35 males, females aren't necessarily mad about football or soccer, but the partner may donate if he or she knows where the funds go.

"The videos on TV all about raising awareness about what sorts of projects they're involved in," he said. "The SMS donation initiative has been well received, as the Peace Dream Foundation realizes that mobile is a great way to reach a massive audience.

"It's been a positive experience, and we're already talking about the next soccer tournament."