Thomas Preiss is a co-founder of “Common Goal”, a movement that motivates professional footballers to donate at least one percent of their salaries to soccer charities that have the greatest influence around the world.
Prior to Common Goal, Thomas was the head of the business development department at street football world, where he led the development of a portfolio of products and services aimed at strengthening the influence of more than 100 organizations that use football as a tool to empower youth. HelloMonaco managed to find out more about the organization of Common Goal from Thomas, who came to the Principality as a speaker at the Peace and Sport forum.
HelloMonaco: What’s the mission of your organization?
Thomas Preiss: Common Goal is about unlocking 1 % of the revenues, generated in professional football, Leagues, Clubs, Confederations, like UEFA and FIFA, but also its individuals, like professional players. So our mission is to unlock 1% of that for a world where football is used for social development.
HM: Where does the 1% go?
TP: On the one hand, it generates funding for the programs that NGO’s are implementing. We started with football; we have 35 players (including Juan Mata from Manchester United and Alex Morgan, the number 1 female player in the world). It’s a very diverse team, both female and male, who are donating 1% from their yearly revenues. We see that everybody is actually able to afford it and to contribute to the same goal.
We are living in a world where political leaders are driving us further apart as nations and as human beings. We want to reverse this trend and to bring us all closer together as a community, to enhance a sense of shared humanity through football. It connects fans with professional athletes. That is what creates an incredibly diversified team.
HM: How did you manage to involve the star-athletes in your organization, to bring to them the right message?
TP: Originally, it was very difficult; footballers are extremely protected as individuals by agents and by the people managing their lives. And so to assume the proper human conversation is a challenge. But after we managed to talk to Juan Mata the dynamic changed completely. He had a mental capacity to understand our idea and to think outside of the football bubble and say that this actually needs to happen and somebody needs to start sharing. This happened after the 222 million-euro Neymar transfer to PSG. Then everybody had a massive discussion about money in football – that it’s all out of proportion. An understanding developed that there needs to be social responsibility in football, also. After this agents and players, understood that fans were resonating this theme and expected their support, and the players wanted to be seen leading this change in football; they wanted the game to be more responsible and down-to-earth. That led to the star players reaching out to us with a desire to join Common Goal.