The collaborative World Cup campaign between Synergy and Paddy Power, From Russia with Equal Love, has resulted in £170,000 being donated to LGBT+ causes.

Sports marketing agency Synergy have created and delivered Paddy Power’s latest World Cup campaign, From Russia with Equal Love which saw bookmaker Paddy Power pledge £10,000 for every Russian goal at the World Cup to LGBT+ causes.



The aim of the campaign was to troll the host nation’s poor LGBT+ rights record by having their football team directly fund the groups that are excluded and victimised so heavily in Russia.


Paddy Power partnered with Attitude Magazine, who created a fund for the donations. The money from the fund went directly to challenging LGBT+ prejudice on and off the field, supporting footballers and those in the game in coming out, funding educational programmes in schools and colleges, and making grassroots teams safe spaces for LGBT+ players.


Key LGBT+ icons, sport stars and celebrities also threw their support into the campaign. The likes of Caitlyn Jenner, Mark Forster, Keegan Hirst and Louie Spence all came out “supporting” Russia at this year’s World Cup.


Further support from the likes of MP, Penny Mordant and Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch demonstrated that this campaign went further than just reaching an LGBT+ audience, but had piqued the interest of the nation as a whole.


Paddy Power had pledged a minimum donation of £50,000 as a fall back in case Russia didn’t score. However, this wasn’t necessary as Russia surprised fans and pundits alike by reaching the quarter-finals, beating one of the tournament favourites, Spain, along the way and raising £130,000 in the process.


However, a dramatic penalty shootout between the home nation and Croatia saw Russia bow out of the competition, but not before they raised a further £40,000 in donations, leaving the total amount raised for LGBT+ causes at £170,000.


From Russia with Equal Love, saw huge support from the LGBT+ community and football fans, the campaign generated over 84 million impressions, 12,000 social media posts with incredibly strong sentiment as 92% of social posts were positive or neutral in sentiment. During this time, Paddy Power became the most talked about brand in the UK and fifth most talked about brand in the world.


Lee Price, Head of PR at Paddy Power, said: “When it comes to LGBT+ campaigns we wanted to do something that would genuinely make an impact. The moment Synergy pitched Rainbow Russians to me, I knew it was perfect. 


“It was so simple – every time Russia score, donate to LGBT+ causes. It was brilliant, clear, and legitimate. Once we engaged our various in-house teams, the idea exploded into life, far beyond a mere PR campaign into a business-wide one: across social, editorial, retail, press, TV, and just about every touchpoint of our marketing department.


“We’re delighted that the Russian football team raised £170,000 for LBGT+ causes – and sure they’re full of pride, too.”


Greg Double, Creative Account Director at Synergy, said: “Annoyingly we couldn’t get football come home, but we did play a role in helping football come out. When World Cup fever takes hold, one of the many symptoms is to forget about everything else – including the human rights record of the hosts.


“I’m proud that this campaign helped keep the focus on the hosts and that Russia became such a willing, albeit unwitting, ally of the LGBT+ community. While other brands were changing their logos to rainbow colours, Paddy Power put their money where Russia’s boots were. Other brands should take note.”