Martin O’Neill | Senior Design Executive

Rebecca Johnstone | Design Intern

Football fever gripped the Manchester media community on Wednesday, as rival agencies went head-to-head on the football pitch, and all in aid of a great cause.

‘Football for Fusion’ was a 5-a-side football tournament organised by the MediaCom Charity and Community Committee to help raise money for Ali’s Fight for Fusion ­– a campaign to fund a lifesaving operation for Ali Turner, sister of MediaCom’s Chris Turner. Chris has worked within the Manchester agency network for over 11 years, and when the appeal went out we were inundated with teams from Dentsu Aegis, MEC, Code Computerlove, and many more.

The excitement began to build in the days prior to the tournament as the 24 teams were entered into a seeded draw, broadcast in real time on Facebook Live. The draw threw up plenty of intriguing fixtures, as well as the inevitable ‘group of death’. So, with battle lines drawn, it was on to Ardwick on Wednesday night, to renew old rivalries under the floodlights, as well as create a few new ones!

A punishing schedule meant that the eventual victors would have to navigate a tricky group stage, last 16, quarter-final, semi-final, and ultimately a high-pressure final, contested in front of a vociferous crowd on the balcony of Power League’s showpiece pitch. After plenty of keenly-contested football, it was Regital/Media IQ and MediaCom’s ‘They think it’s Moldova’ who were left standing. After a predictably tight opening quarter, it was the MediaCom team that eventually pulled away, notching up a 3-0 victory.

As well as the football on the pitch, there was plenty going on off it, with raffles and a silent auction to help raise money for the cause. Over £4,000 was raised on the night itself, and donations are continuing to come in. For a round-up of the event, check out our video and the gallery below. If you’d like to donate to Ali’s Fight for Fusion, the GoFundMe page is here.