HNS Wins Prestigious UEFA “GROW” Award for Digital Strategy Project ‘Family’

Daniela Rogulj


At the UEFA “GROW” awards ceremony held in Riga, the Croatian Football Federation won first place for their digital strategy project “Family” for the best engagement with fans. The Croatian Federation competed against 20 other Federations in this category. 

Every two years, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) organizes the UEFA “GROW” awards, intended for the federations that have been highlighted in the past by their marketing and communication projects aimed at developing football in the country, announces HNS on November 1, 2018. 

The UEFA “Grow” awards are like the ‘Oscars’ for football development

“These awards are a kind of ‘Oscars’ for the development of football in Europe. The great projects presented here show how far we have come with the development of football and we congratulate everyone on the list, especially the deserved winners of creativity, passion and effort,” said UEFA director for national federations, Zoran Laković.

The UEFA competition included 106 projects by 44 federations 

Among 106 projects by 44 federations (a record number), UEFA selected the three best projects in each category, which were then individually awarded in Riga. 

HNS’s digital strategy, where the Federation followed the national team ahead of and during the World Cup in Russia, was presented by the authors of the project, Tomislav Pacak, and Nika Bahtijarević. The best player in the world, Luka Modrić, even supported the project with a video message. 

Based on the project and presentation, an independent jury composed of academic and business marketing experts selected the HNS project as the best.

UEFA awarded HNS for their ‘engaging and thoughtful campaign that links family and football as its cornerstone’

“HNS’s authentic campaign is a very engaging and thoughtful campaign that links family and football as its cornerstone, using players and personal stories, and creates a positive atmosphere around the team,” said jury member Nikki Symmons.


The award was received by HNS spokesperson Tomislav Pacak, marketing manager Koraljka Petrinović, and associate in communications and marketing Nika Bahtijarević.

“Thank you to the great team who worked on the ‘Family’ campaign, the players and staff who became family, the Croatian supporters who joined the family, and the jury and UEFA who recognized our family,” Pacak said.

HNS created the digital campaign without using external agencies. Apart from project leader Tomislav Pacak and co-author Nika Bahtijarević, the project included journalist Borna Rupnik, photographer Drago Sopta and graphic artist Nikša Martinac.


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