Case study > Homeless World Cup

Using technology to help a social cause become a global phenomenon

Over the course of a decade, Loft pioneered the use of live streaming and social media, tightly integrated with a bespoke platform, to engage millions of people around the world in this exceptional annual event.

The challenge

To design, build and implement a streaming video and data platform so that audiences around the world could engage with the tournament, at a time when streaming video technology was still in its infancy.

Project overview

The Homeless World Cup Foundation is an organisation that helps homeless people change their lives through football. Each year, it holds a World Cup in a different international city, with national teams consisting of people who have experienced homelessness competing for the honours and demonstrating how grassroots football has helped them towards a better life.

When Loft first became involved in the project in 2006, our vision was to change it from a tournament that happened far away in another city into something visible to everybody all over the world. At that time, there were restrictions limiting where, when and how people could stream live video, but the Loft team got web cams up and running. From there we improved the amount and quality of live video as well as other features with each successive tournament up to 2015.

In 2011, we became one of the first application developers to use YouTube’s live streaming facilities, working with telecoms providers in each host city to stream live footage from local masts to YouTube and around the world for anybody to enjoy. The platform we developed not only shared every match live, but also up-to-the second tournament statistics, the backstories of the players and coaches, events around the tournament and the atmosphere and excitement of the host city.

For each Homeless World Cup between 2007 and 2015, Loft Digital had a team on the ground in the host city, making sure that millions of people around the world could enjoy the event and share it on social media as it happened. During these years, we were able to develop and execute a genuinely unique vision for how technology can drive an organisation forwards at a global scale – a capability we’ve applied for corporations working in a range of sectors.

In their words

“We love working with Loft. They are part of our team and we value their integrity, trust and honesty. They will do what it takes to get the job done. We couldn't do what we do without them.”

— Craig Campbell, Chief Executive, Homeless World Cup

Learn more

Learn more about the Homeless World Cup Foundation at

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