Kiyan Prince Foundation
15 years ago Kiyan Prince tragically lost his life at the hands of a knife. His father Mark has since made it his mission to use Kiyan’s legacy to inspire young people and remind them of their worth to society through the charity he set up in his son’s name.
With the UK in the middle of a knife crime epidemic, we partnered with the Kiyan Prince Foundation to bring Kiyan’s story to life, simultaneously reaching one of society’s most marginalised audiences and driving mass public donations.
Passions and influencers spread ideas
We targeted a notoriously difficult to reach audience – young men aged 16-24 – by inserting Kiyan into one of their main day-to-day influences, FIFA21. Meanwhile, instead of painting a grim picture of the pain and suffering knife crime can cause, we celebrated Kiyan’s life and told a positive story to drive behaviour change
On the 15th anniversary of his death, we brought Kiyan back to life as the footballer he would have been aged 30, in the prime of his career.
First, we spoke to EA SPORTS about creating Kiyan as a player in FIFA 21. EA developers worked closely with Kiyan’s family, friends, former teammates and coaches to integrate him into the game, aging his appearance using images from his teen years and developing his on-pitch characteristics and style of play. We even secured an in-game boot deal with Adidas.
We created a photo-real likeness of what Kiyan would look like today to give the campaign a powerful visual focal point. With input from the Prince family and help from the University of Bradford, we used aging-projection software to create a scientifically accurate portrait. Kiyan’s virtual self was then developed by FX studio Framestore and artist Chris Scalf.
No professional footballer’s story is complete without a dream move or a series of endorsements. QPR, Kiyan’s childhood club and huge supporters of the Foundation, announced they are were “signing” Kiyan and gave him the number 30 shirt. Meanwhile, we approached Topps to produce a Match Attax collectable card of Kiyan, with proceeds going to the Foundation.
To deliver the out-of-home impact we needed, our Capital Markets team brokered a partnership with our client JD Sports, which led to Kiyan fronting an advertising campaign across London’s billboards, including the iconic screen at Piccadilly Circus.
#longlivetheprince delivered an eyewatering amount of earned coverage, brilliant social engagement and overwhelmingly positive sentiment. It reached and impacted the young demographic it was aimed at, as well as driving a year’s worth of donations for the Foundation in a single day.
We secured 915 pieces of coverage internationally, including every national UK newspaper, 44 pieces of broadcast coverage, including a 12 minute segment on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC News, ITV News, Sky News, Times Radio and TalkSport. This produced a cumulative reach of more than 3bn OTS.
Research among people aged 16-25 (skewed 60/40 towards male given the higher prevalence of knife crime among men) showed that:
- 60% have now heard about Kiyan Prince, which represents very high penetration among such a hard to reach demographic
- 78% said #longlivetheprince was relevant to their life
- More than half (54%) said they’d speak to the Kiyan Prince Foundation for help if they required it, while 74% would recommend it to a friend
- Twice as many people searched Kiyan’s name on Google in May 2021 than in the month after he died.