Xylem - Take the waste out of water

Ahead of the United Nations Water Conference in 2023, Xylem sought to harness their partnership with City Football Group to inspire global action against water pollution.

Through a social and digital media campaign, centred around an emotive film starring Pep Guardiola, the 'Take The Waste Out Of Water' campaign enabled football fans to lead the conversation.


Global water technology and services leader Xylem has been working with City Football Group (CFG) since 2018, raising awareness, educating and encouraging football fans to be more water responsible.

Operating as Xylem’s Global Partnership Marketing Agency, SPORTFIVE works closely within the partnership to help Xylem leverage CFG's global platform to inspire water awareness.

In 2023, Xylem and SPORTFIVE came together to create a campaign which centred around the rising issue of wastewater pollution, which sees an estimated 80% of wastewater enter the environment untreated. 

The aim of the campaign was to raise awareness for these issues and to create a message which would encourage the club’s global audience to take collective action.


In March 2023, the United Nations held the UN Water Conference, where leaders from around the world came together to set out clear commitments to halve the amount of untreated wastewater released into the environment by 2030. 

In support of this, we worked with Xylem and Manchester City to launch the ‘Take The Waste Out Of Water’ campaign. Spearheaded by Pep Guardiola, the campaign centred around an impactful film which dramatised the effects that unfiltered wastewater can have on people's everyday lives.

The film was supported by a multi-channeled social and digital media campaign, encouraging fans to learn more by visiting a dedicated ‘Water Heroes’ website, where they could engage with educational resources and add their name to a statement emphasising the need for governing bodies to honour their commitments to treating wastewater. 

To further amplify awareness, the campaign also featured several star players from Manchester City men’s and women's teams, as well as in-game advertising during men’s and women’s games, driving interest to the ‘Water Heroes' website.

Campaign Execution

  • Emotive film

    Working with our in-house creative agencies Brave and Courage, we created an emotive film, starring Pep Guardiola, which highlighted the impact of wastewater pollution and called for action.

  • Social & digital media

    The campaign was brought to fans’ attention through a multi-channeled social media campaign, driving traffic to a purpose built webpage, with dedicated content and preventive actions against wastewater pollution

  • Player activation

    The campaign was further supported by bespoke social media content, covering the impact of wastewater pollution, featuring star Manchester City men's and women's players, as well as New York City FC and Mumbai City FC players.

  • In-stadium advertising

    Pitch side LED boards drove awareness for the campaign to audiences during both Manchester City men’s and women’s teams games, reaching both in stadium and large scale television audiences.


The ‘Take The Waste Out Of Water’ campaign built on the positive brand awareness established through previous Xylem and City Football Group campaigns and integrated active engagement and action amongst the key target audience. 

Reaching over 186 million people through social media channels, the campaign brought unfiltered wastewater to the attention of football fans around the world.  

Through the launch and success of the bespoke website, waterheroes.com, the campaign generated over 91,000 visitors, helping to tackle public inertia by encouraging viewers to use their screen for good instead of passively watching as water pollution worsens. 

Through a series of quizzes, games and pledges, waterheroes.com provided fans with a platform to engage with educational resources, all designed to help improve their daily actions towards water.

This resulted in over 34,000 actions being completed and over 21,000 people sharing their data in support of the clean water call for change.


People signed the clean water call for change

  • + 0 M

    Campaign reach across social media

  • + 0 M

    Campaign impressions across social media

  • + 0 K

    Unique Water Heroes Hub visitors

What's in it for you?

Some of the world’s biggest organisations, from almost every industry, rely on partnerships in sports to help grow their brand. Sport’s truly universal appeal, coupled with its ability to bring together people from all walks of life, make it the perfect platform for businesses to communicate through.

End-to-end activation 

Through building a partnership based on shared values, SPORTFIVE have helped Xylem and City Football Group craft a solution which has benefitted both parties. From identifying the partnership and helping to conceptualise its strategy, to activating, developing and bringing campaigns to life, our work has helped bring Xylem’s mission to the forefront for football fans around the globe. 

As the world’s leading global sports marketing agency, SPORTFIVE works alongside the biggest brands to activate their partnerships in sports. This has seen us help the likes of LEGO Group, KitKat, ASOS and Mitsubishi to create meaningful activations that resonate with their audience.

If you want to find out how we can help your organisation grow through sport, reach out to: [email protected]

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