Case Study

Soccer Aid


Soccer Aid for UNICEF is the worlds biggest charity football match and is broadcast in a three-hour annual ITV programme.  It has raised over £70m for UNICEF UK through donations and ticket sales.  It helps children in 190 countries around the world, providing disaster relief, clean water, nutrition, vaccines, health care and education.

What we did

Over the last few years, Spoke have provided an automated donation telephony service for ITV and UNICEF’s flagship event.  The Spoke service allows viewers to donate any amount to the charity event via their telephone and has become a key part of the programme’s donation channel mix.  It appeals to viewers who want to donate a different or higher amount than is possible by text, or simply those who just want to pick up the telephone to donate.  The service is simple and is voiced by the presenter Dermot O’Leary.  It quickly takes the caller through the steps to enter their payment card details and then provides a clear message to encourage users to opt-in to gift-aid, which allows UNICEF to maximise donations through the gift-aid scheme.  It complies with the highest levels of security for payment processing and personal data through its PCI DSS status.

Spoke’s extensive platform capability also allowed us to help in providing further developments such as the ‘Appreciation Station’ feature of the programme, where callers have the opportunity to donate and speak to a number of celebrities located in the stadium.

The outcome

Donations via telephone have increased year on year since Spoke’s automated service was introduced.  Spoke’s scalable platform means it is able to provide additional capacity to deal with the growing response.  Gift-aid opt-in rates are very high compared with similar events which means the charity is receiving additional funds at no extra cost to those donating.

The Appreciation Station functionality has been a welcome addition to the programme content and has helped drive further donations whilst providing an enjoyable user experience.

On behalf of Soccer Aid for UNICEF, thank you to the team at Spoke who have worked with us since 2020, to deliver our IVR donation platform. In 2022, we raised an incredible £15,673,728 – the most in Soccer Aid history! All the money raised will help UNICEF’s work around the world, so that children everywhere can have the best possible start in life.

We have found the team at Spoke to be both knowledgeable and reliable, with no task too big. In 2022, we introduced a complex activation enabling celebrities to thank telephone donors via our ‘Appreciation Station’. This activation required building systems from scratch and integrating with two external partners. The Appreciation Station was hugely successful in enabling us to uplift telephone donations, which is in part thanks to the team at Spoke working to find robust solutions.

Sarah Wren | Head of Soccer Aid for Unicef

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