Mastercard surprises football's biggest fan

To celebrate MasterCard’s 21st year as an Official Sponsor of the UEFA Champions League and in advance of the 2015 Final in Berlin on Saturday 6 June, Carat and Rubber Republic worked together to help MasterCard provide a priceless surprise for football’s biggest fan. The campaign is based around a truly remarkable story of one fan who risked all to support his team while growing up in East Germany.

MasterCard’s global Priceless Surprises sets to surprise and delight unsuspecting cardholders, so with the help of an acclaimed documentary researcher, MasterCard found Uwe Bindel, 48, born and raised in East Berlin under the communist GDR regime, but who from a young age had an irrepressible urge to follow FC Bayern Münich. Initially this was just frowned upon, but as his passion for the club grew it started to get him in serious trouble with the authorities.  The defining moment was in 1983, when Uwe got close enough to their captain and most capped German international player of all time, Lothar Matthäus, to kiss his football boot.  From this moment on, Uwe was placed under state surveillance and had to report to the local Stasi duty office whenever his beloved team played behind the Iron Curtain.

However, this is not just a story of Uwe’s dedication to his team, because he’s been able to support and follow them without any restrictions since reunification, it’s about the sacrifices his wife, Ilona Bindel, had to make too – from Uwe selling off their garden to pay for his season ticket to cancelling their 20th wedding anniversary holiday to go to Munich instead.

So over thirty years later, MasterCard has brought together Uwe and his hero Lothar Matthaus, to give the Bindels a surprise they will never forget.  Thanks to MasterCard’s sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League, Lothar hands Uwe a pair of tickets to watch the Final in his home city, as well as the promise of a pair of tickets to his team’s UEFA Champions League home games next season.  And Ilona, the fan behind our dedicated football fan, is given a replacement 20th wedding anniversary holiday, but whether she will take Uwe this time is entirely up to her...

This remarkable tale is wonderfully told in the campaign delivered through Carat, Rubber Republic and MasterCard.

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