With sponsorship we could do so much more. Sponsors have a unique link to communities, places and people, and therefore a huge opportunity to make a difference. We can help support more than just the club’s performance on the pitch. At 32Red, we have done so in the past, through support for projects in England and Scotland including Rangers’ ‘Big Sleep Out’ that helped fundraise for Glasgow’s homeless. But we are now going to be bolder.
Team Talk - Investing in the local community
We are launching a new model of football club sponsorship - one that means investing in the local community, as well as the club. Football clubs have a unique ability to leverage the power of football to engage supporters and improve lives. So as part of the renewed terms of our sponsorship deal with Derby County, we are announcing a significant, yearlong investment in, and partnership with, Derby County’s Community Trust (DCCT).
Our Group Sustainability Framework underpins this work, but we think the future of sponsorship should be structured not just on investment in clubs, but their communities too. Our pilot of this model means DCCT will be able to reach, and support, hundreds more men across Derby who are struggling with mental health problems through their innovative new ‘Team Talk’ project.
Using the power of football
The Mental Health Foundation say men from working class communities are the least likely group to either disclose a mental health problem to friends and family, or seek professional support - over a third of men (35%) waited more than two years or have never disclosed a mental health problem to a friend or family member compared to 25% of women. But they are also the group most likely to be football supporters. That means sponsors and clubs are in a unique position to reach them using the power of football. We are proud of the links we have created with communities across the UK through football club sponsorship. Our clubs - Derby, Leeds, Preston, Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Rangers - are located in parts of the UK that are passionate about football.
And our new model in football sponsorship is a ground-breaking commitment to go even further in supporting those local communities. English football is revitalised. Our top two divisions are renowned across the world. And 32Red are now leading the way by stepping up their commitment to the communities that football clubs are such an important part of. And with our current sponsorships stretching further to boxing, horse racing and darts, we have a fantastic opportunity to build on that commitment to communities and places right across the UK.
It is vital that policymakers bear this in mind - and maintain the right of responsible, sustainable, licensed companies like ours to sponsor sport. By doing so, we can continue to build strong sporting organisations and strong communities through a revitalised sponsorship model – and I’m proud that 32Red are the betting and gaming company leading the way.