South African soccer legend Lucas Radebe has been announced as the local Lay’s ambassador, the UEFA Champions League (UCL) 2022/23 Campaign. 

Radebe’s ambassador duties kicked off on Saturday 11 February with a community event in Tembisa, when he captains a formidable team taking part in a five-a-side soccer tournament at the Lay’s RePlay Pitch located at AMANDLA’S Safe-Hub. Radebe’s team will take on four others made up of fellow soccer heroes, fans and celebrities. This event marks the start of the Lay’s UCL Trophy activation, which concludes at Melrose Arch on 12 February. For the activation, fans will get to meet Radebe and take a picture with club football’s most coveted trophy ahead of the league’s First Leg of its Round 16 kickoff on 14 February.

The RePlay pitch in Tembisa, is a joint initiative with PepsiCo and the UEFA Foundation for children, and NGO streetfootballworld. With its RePlay concept, the Lay’s brand uses the power of play and football to address social issues impacting local communities through long-term educational sporting programmes; created in a place for them to play the world’s favourite sport by recycling empty crisp packets that are used as material for the football pitches. 

In Tembisa, Lay’s RePlay has partnered with AMANDLA an international social enterprise with a mission to create Safe-Hubs that harness the power of sport, education and collective impact to support young people who can be categorised as at risk. AMANDLA also offers courses for young unemployed people aged 18-25 in the community. Course participants are later given the chance to become Safe-Hub coaches, helping to support themselves in the future while granting access to activities and opportunities in which they contribute and take ownership and realise their full potential.

According to Senior Marketing Director for Snacks at PepsiCo South Africa, Giulia Iorio- Ndlovu, this initiative advances our Pepsico positive goals: “By leveraging our key brands such as Lay’s we are amplifying positive outcomes for the planet and people.”

Lay’s has longstanding ties in the football community and is an official partner of the Men’s UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women’s football. 

In addition to being a member of Bafana Bafana’s winning Africa Cup of Nations team in 1996, and captain of the national team at the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cup, Radebe was the longtime captain of Leeds United in England, leading the team to a third-place finish in the 1999-2000 English Premiership, gaining qualification for the European Cup, now known as the Champions League. He was the guest of honour at the official opening of the Tembisa pitch in June 2021.

“Lay’s is a fun brand and this activation is exactly what I enjoy – engaging with youngsters, playing ball and demonstrating the power of football. The UEFA Champions League is a global showpiece, but its appeal stretches far and wide into places like Tembisa and elsewhere. The social upliftment provided by these brands is immeasurable and will last long after our involvement. I look forward to playing a part in helping to tell a little of football’s great story – with great partners alongside.” Says Radebe

“We are thrilled that Lucas has once again partnered with us to champion South African soccer culture and bring people together. After all, for South Africans soccer is more than just a sport it’s part of our DNA. Our love for the beautiful game comes from its unique ability to bring people together by creating moments of shared joy. Lay’s has always been a part of those social moments that matter — so much so, that our chips have become synonymous with the enjoyment of watching a game, because Lay’s and football are simply better together,” says Iorio-Ndlovu’. 

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