Special Olympics wants you to Keep Up With The Girls


Winner: 2020 Best use of Multichannel Social Media in Content Marketing’ for Keep Up with the Girls - Content Marketing Institute Awards.


The Special Olympics had one simple goal ahead of its annual Special Olympics European Football Week in May 2019: Get every girl on the pitch. To do so, it worked with 256, and with the support of the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme, to create a social media content strategy that would help promote the women’s football initiative and raise awareness for the campaign.


256 developed the creative concept ‘KeepUpWithTheGirls, a play on the idea of ‘keepy-uppies’ but also supporting the following principles as we wanted our audiences to:

  1. Keep Up With the Girls who are breaking down barriers to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities.
  2. Keep Up The Good Work and Keep the message moving – revolution is inclusion. We’re making progress but we’re not there yet.
  3. Keep Up With Us to get Every Girl on The Football Pitch– by following our social channels and joining our community.

The campaign was

  • Social first – utilising the existing Special Olympics networks in the 20 participating territories we have a potential organic audience of 163,000 on Facebook. Overall reach of participating territories across all channels is 200k. Estimated reach of campaign was 1m.
  • Focused on growing reach organically and with strategic paid promotion to increase followers on social channels.
  • Focused on User Generated Content (UGC), to spread our reach organically and grow followers on our Special Olympics channels.
  • Centrally coordinated and easy to follow tiered approach to get the maximum from each participating territory, with built-in pre-launch ‘training’ via Webinar to help the territories get the most from the campaign assets and inspire them to ‘Run with the Ball’.
  • Territories supported with a ‘Cool-box’ of non-language specific multi-channel creative assets for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, complete with a sample calendar and suggested activity for local territories to optimise their opportunity. Assets included Social Covers, snippet videos, animated and static posts and carousels, sample creative for Instagram stories.

A cornerstone of the campaign was the ‘KeepUpWithTheGirls video.

The Piece To Camera (PTC) script and action was designed so that user-generated Video could be shot anywhere, and when stitched together, it would look like one person was passing the ball to the next.

Branded footballs were sent to potential ‘ambassadors’ with instructions on how to get shoot their own video to get involved.

Footage was also captured at the World Games in Adu Dhabi featuring Special Olympics ambassadors such as superstar Nicole Scherzinger, and football legends Didier Drogba and Cafu.

The videos were stitched together showing each participant sharing the message and passing the ball on to the next.

See the video here

A range of additional assets were developed and released in a Cool Box for the use of the participating territories including:

  • Brand Video
  • A range of social media creative, carousels, gifs, animated posts to be used across channels.
  • Frame creative to allow local territories to brand their own content.
  • Branded social media headers, profile images.
  • Suggested social media posting calendar with copy.


The campaign had a reach of 3.9 million with engagement of 20% including video views of 1 million against a total budget €19,000.

The hashtag #KeepUpWithTheGirls had a reach of 10.6 million and over 13 million impressions worldwide.

This campaign was a first for Special Olympics and is being shared globally as an example of best practice social media marketing.


How can we help you get great content results?

If you’ve made it this far, thank you. You may be exploring an investment in content marketing and are unsure about ROI or attribution. You may have a content programme that is underperforming or a chaotic multi-channel content ecosystem that needs an overhaul.

Our expert team of global award winning strategists, editors, data analysts and creatives can answer your questions.

If that sounds good to you and you’d like to have a chat, just fill in the form or give us a call!

New Business Enquires