The UNICEF partnership with the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games

Exhibited by
Joe Jenkins
April 30, 2015
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Children/ sports events
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
April 2013

SOFII’s view

Congratulations to UNICEF for producing the first fundraising appeal to take place during the opening ceremony of a sporting event, so making a spectacular event even more special.

Scottish cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy and actor James McAvoy sent out a heartfelt appeal to spectators, fans and athletes alike during the opening of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, click here to see the duo.

Summary / objectives

To create a groundbreaking sports event and charity partnership to support the children of the Commonwealth.

  1. Establish the biggest moment ever for children around a major sports event.
  2. Reach every child in Scotland and children in every Commonwealth country by 2018.
  3. Create a blueprint for major sports events to use to benefit disadvantaged children.


UNICEF believes that the power of sport has a role to play in creating positive change for children. We work to deliver that change in three ways:

  1. In sport – by developing safeguarding measures for organisations to adopt.
  2. Through sport – by creating sport for development programmes for children.
  3. Around sport ­– by creating fundraising and advocacy opportunities around sporting events.

Over the years, UNICEF has built a wealth of sporting connections to enable positive change for children, including partnerships with football clubs such as Manchester United, Barcelona and Glasgow Rangers. They also have relationships with sporting celebrities such as Sir Alex Ferguson, David Beckham and Sir Chris Hoy and are, or have been, involved in events like Soccer Aid and the 2012 London Olympics through the legacy programme International Inspiration.

It was these connections in sport that inspired our desire to extend our work to partnering with a major sporting event and we were delighted when we were chosen as official partner to the Commonwealth Games Federation and Glasgow 2014.

Creator / originator

Tom Burstow, UNICEF UK

Special characteristics

  • Glasgow 2014 and UNICEF came together to create the first ever global charity partnership around a Commonwealth Games.
  • This groundbreaking partnership to 'put children first' harnessed the power and reach of the Games with that of UNICEF to reach and engage new audiences and create a long-lasting legacy and impact.
  • The partnership was truly embedded in all areas of the Games: from ticketing to merchandise, athletes to in-stadia profile. However the pivotal moment centred on the opening ceremony and a global awareness and fundraising appeal first connecting a one billion plus television audience with issues affecting children.
  • Through this incredible, unifying moment and other fundraising activity, UNICEF raised over £5 million enabling activities to benefit children in all 53 Commonwealth countries and every child in Scotland.
  • Awareness, connection and action amongst partners that demonstrate what major sports events can achieve by supporting Commonwealth Games and UNICEF values.

Influence / impact

1.Biggest moment

  • First ever integration of 'charitable' messaging into an opening ceremony, supported by athletes, ambassadors and young people.
  • One billion people reached with partnership messages in over 70 countries.
  • First ever unifying global appeal moment with donations received from 50 countries.


  • Engaged children in 30 countries via the Queen's baton relay journey around the Commonwealth.
  • UNICEF programmes started in 20 countries, which have reached thousands of children already.
  • Plans to reach all Commonwealth countries and every child in Scotland by the next Games in 2018.


  • Partnership demonstrates how legacy can deliver partner values whilst engaging athletes, fans etc
  • Child Rights impact assessment conducted on G2014, to create a tool to ensure future 'child friendly' bids
  • Other major events connecting with UNICEF to establish legacy narratives and activities for children
  • UNICEF and CGF exploring ongoing partnership to build on Glasgow 2014


Through our official partnership with the Games, UNICEF secured a rights and benefits package from the organisers of the Games. This ensured that many of the spaces and opportunities to promote the partnership and to generate income were provided free or at cost, for example, adding an optional donation to each ticket sold, the creation of joint merchandise, the provision of UNICEF hoardings at events, etc.


  • Over £1.3m was raised during the build up to the Games.
  • Over £3.7m was raised through the opening ceremony appeal to the general public.
  • Over £5m has been raised so far.
  • Ongoing fundraising activity projected to generate at least £2m of further partnership funds.
  • Over 500 pieces of coverage with a reach of 212,088,486 and an advertising value equivalent of £3,912,492.94 since the start of the 'Put Children First' campaign.
  • 20,000 mentions on the web during the opening ceremony.
  • UNICEF was the most mentioned partner of the Games – 97 per cent of mentions on the web relating to sponsors /partners was attributed to UNICEF.
  • 8.9 million viewers in the UK watched the opening ceremony and 10 per cent donated to UNICEF.
  • 1.2 million spectators were reached via in-stadia UNICEF films.
  • Fifty per cent of the public in Scotland questioned about UNICEF partnership recognised 'Put Children First' as key message.


UNICEF, Glasgow 2014 and the CGF achieved a world first – integrating a fundraising appeal into a live, televised opening ceremony, asking the Commonwealth to unite, 'Put Children First' and donate at exactly the same time.

The campaign showed it's possible not only to fundraise through a single global moment but also to integrate this type of appeal into a major sporting event – using sport to enable positive, lasting and powerful change for children with inspiring, relevant stories, connecting athletes and audiences alike.

The success and impact of the moment is evident both in reach and money raised. Donations in just the first 40 minutes reached £2.5m, across 50 Commonwealth countries and secured UNICEF an additional announcement in the closing ceremony.

The partnership demonstrated just how an opening ceremony can provide both a great spectacle and a compelling moment to support children around the world.

Joe Jenkins presents this campaign at SOFII’s IWITOT London event

More than 500,000 people sent in a text to UNICEF during the Glasgow 2014 opening ceremony including many of those inside the Celtic Park Stadium.
Surely one of the most powerful and impelling ‘asks’ ever.
Sir Chris Hoy during his visit to a UNICEF project in Malawi.
Over £3.7 million was raised through the opening ceremony.