Football clubs have a unique reach and cut through with adult audiences, and as such are a great avenue for promoting healthier gambling behaviour and advocating for control. The power of football to reach across communities and audiences is like no other and sport is a fantastic avenue for messaging to be communicated.
Kindred Group has driven forward an ambitious project to change the way organisations like ours sponsor sport. Sponsors have unique links to communities, places and people. The power of football is something that can be leveraged in an enormously positive way to effect change. And our new model of sponsorship - that benefits both sporting organisations and communities - continues to grow.
Over the last year Kindred´s brand 32Red have been working with Derby County’s Community Trust on their successful men’s mental health programme ‘Team Talk’. The program aims to support hundreds of men across Derby who are struggling with mental health problems and uses the local club as a mechanism to engage with men about their mental health. In just 12 months, 98% of men said it had improved their mental health and that they were proud to be part of the group. All participants surveyed said they would encourage others to join. In its first full year, it ran across four hubs before switching to virtual delivery throughout lockdown. Martyn Waghorn, who is a striker for Derby County shared his thoughts with us and meant that “The efforts of the Team Talk project haven’t gone unnoticed at Derby County. I know the struggles myself, having been there in the past, and a little work to help others goes a long way. Team Talk is doing a fantastic job”.
New mental health research project
32Red extends the support to the men’s mental health programme Team Talk founded by Derby County’s Community Trust for one year which enables a new research project in partnership with the University of Derby. The project will focus on our understanding of what is effective in the Team Talk programme and how the programme can grow and develop, particularly in the light of the challenges of lockdown and increased anxieties around COVID.
The renewed investment for a second year is the core part of Kindred Group´s commitment to be the sponsor of choice for sporting organisations and their communities. Over the last 18 months, Kindred has worked with sponsorship so that it benefits places and communities - with also sponsoring boxing, horse racing and darts in the UK.
We asked Simon Carnall, who is the Head of Community at Derby County Community Trust what this re-commitment meant for them: “This is the first time Derby County’s main sponsor has made such a big investment in the local community. The renewal of our partnership means we can now expand the programme and reach many more men with mental health problems across the community over the coming year. At a time when the coronavirus pandemic is making things even harder for men, this is a timely project, especially based on the fact we are now heading into a second lockdown.”
Neil Banbury, who is Kindred Group´s General Manger for UK has been heavily involved within the sponsorship to Derby County´s Community Trust gives us his take on continuing the funding. “The renewed investment we are announcing means Derby County Community Trust can continue some of the fantastic work and results we have seen from the first year of our partnership. Using the unique relationship supporters have with their local club, we hope to reach many more men with the expanded mental health support services who would otherwise be suffering in silence. Our partnership with Derby County Community Trust shows our deep commitment to continue developing a new model for football club sponsorship. Kindred Group is leading the way in becoming a sponsor of choice for a club and its community.”
Tackling the Stigma
The renewal of the Team Talk scheme follows last year’s release of ‘Tackling the Stigma’ – a report that revealed the scale of the struggle facing working class men and their mental health in the UK. The report showed that over 4 million working-class men are suffering in silence with their mental health – more likely than other groups but also less likely to be aware of symptoms and to seek help. But their passion for football – higher than other groups – offers a route to receive the support they need.
Neil Banbury emphasizes the importance of the report. “We know from our ‘Tackling the Stigma’ report that men are at increased risk of suffering from their mental health – but that they are also most likely to engage with projects that involve the football clubs they cherish.”
We look forward to report back on how this sponsorship can make a difference and benefit both clubs and communities. 32Red will be announcing similar projects on men’s mental health a in the coming weeks.
To find out more about the Team Talk project please see www.derbycountycommunitytrust.com