Kindred's sponsorship activity across English football has continued to grow from strength to strength over the last few years. We continue to support clubs up and down the United Kingdom and have worked hard to reinvent how sponsors approach their relationships with sporting organisations.
One of those clubs – Middlesbrough Football Club – recently held a 'Foundation Weekend' that formed part of an initiative to highlight the Foundation's life-changing work for participants of all ages in the local community and how people in the area can access its projects and services. To help facilitate that highlighting of the work done in the community, we donated our front-of-shirt sponsorship to the Foundation, and invited eight Foundation programme participants to watch the game from Boro's hospitality area, meet club ambassadors and have a guided tour, including the pitch and dugout areas.
MFC Foundation works to raise aspirations and improve the life chances of young people and adults across Teesside. Its work is supported and funded, in part, by the club's commercial partners, including Kindred Group.
As part of Kindred's relationship with MFC, we support the MFC Foundation's 'Think With Your Feet' – a programme that enables local men to meet, play football and discuss their mental health issues in a safe, respectful environment.
It is important for all of us at Kindred to use our position as Principal Partners to help the MFC Foundation achieve the visibility and recognition that its work deserves. We know that we are in a position to positively influence clubs and communities and take that responsibility seriously.
On a broader level, we are incredibly proud of our sponsorships in football in the UK – Middlesbrough FC is a testament to our approach. It is a fantastic club, and more importantly, it sits at the heart of a vibrant community - acting as an anchor point and a source of passion, friendship and more for the fans and wider community.
The power of football to inspire change is genuine and important - especially its ability to engage with some of the most vulnerable members of society. Middlesbrough's Foundation is embedded in the town, and the bond is strengthened by the daily life-changing initiatives they run to raise aspirations and improve the life chances of young people and adults across Teesside.
Sponsors and clubs are in a unique position to do more to make sponsorship truly benefit the whole community of a football club and promote healthier, safer gambling through our activation. We will continue to do so - with our ongoing work with Middlesbrough and our other clubs' testament to that.
For example, we remain the only brand in the UK to feature responsible gambling messages on all of our shirt sponsorships, and we dedicate over 30% of our football assets to safer gambling messaging. Combined with our approach to community investment, our continued belief is that this higher sponsorship bar is the way forward in the UK.