Go Ahead Eagles rain barrel campaign raises climate awareness among football fans
How can awareness of the impact of extreme weather be raised among a broad-based group of residents? In the spring of 2021, the province of Overijssel set up an original project to this end: “Out of the rain, into the club”, a rain barrel campaign in concert with Deventer football club Go Ahead Eagles.
Goal of the project
The project was intended to reach as wide a group as possible, focusing special attention on residents living on a relatively low income. ‘To many Go Ahead Eagles fans living in the immediate vicinity of the stadium, making ends meet every month is not something they can take for granted,’ says Bram van Hulsenboom, who was involved in the project in his capacity as The Climate Psychologist. ‘Furthermore, they often opt for paved gardens, which renders them more vulnerable to waterlogging and heat stress.’
How has the rain barrel campaign been conceived?
This project was prompted by the aim of the Drents Overijsselse Delta district water board and the municipality of Deventer to raise residents’ awareness of the consequences of extreme weather, such as severe downpours, heat, and drought. Partnering with football club Go Ahead was a logical step: through the club, many residents can be reached who will not be open to a regular downspout disconnection campaign. In addition, rather than discharging rainwater into the sewer system, the club now drains rainwater from the rooftops and the car park into the soil. Furthermore, the club intends to make a section of the stadium more sustainable in the years ahead.
Discount and tickets to a match
Participants in the rain barrel campaign received an Intratuin garden centre voucher for a seventy-euro discount on a rain barrel featuring the logo of their favourite football club. In addition, they received a voucher for two tickets to a match and a discount coupon for plants to be purchased from Intratuin Deventer.
Collaboration between public and private parties
The Drents Overijsselse Delta district water board, the municipality of Deventer, and football club Go Ahead Eagles have joined forces with Intratuin Deventer garden centre. Intratuin was responsible for the development and sale of the special rain barrels. The Climate Psychologist and Rocketboys Communications Agency have assisted in setting up a professional marketing campaign aimed at changing behaviour and raising climate awareness among as wide a public as possible. Among other things, the campaign featured an online tutorial, in which a Go Ahead player and a club fan together explained how to connect the rain barrel. This campaign has reached an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 social media accounts.
What results have been achieved?
The campaign has sold a total of 176 rain barrels. Each rain barrel cost EUR 44.99 rather than EUR 114.99. The majority of the rain barrels have been sold in combination with a downspout disconnection set. This is used to connect a downspout to the rain barrel, which means that rooftop rainwater will end up in the rain barrel rather than in the sewer system. As a result of the campaign, Intratuin Deventer sold ten to twenty times more rain barrels during this period than other chain stores.
Lessons to be learned
The organising parties are quite content with their collaboration and with the results of the project. Following its completion, the following lessons to be learned emerged:
- Joining forces with a wide range of parties is essential for a project such as this. None of the organisations would have been capable of carrying out this project by itself.
- The rain barrel campaign was effective because it tied in with the interests of the target group: football club Go Ahead Eagles.
- The communication provided a positive image of climate adaptation, which has contributed to the success of the campaign.