As a footballer myself, I was especially delighted to see England win the Euros this weekend; such an incredible inspiration for everyone to see how the game has come on in the last decade. All eyes will now be on the lucrative sponsorship deals the players will receive but as someone who works in advertising, I’d make a plea for businesses to ensure that their support is deeper than simply billboards and logos on shirts.
Yes, brands should focus on celebrating the players on the pitch and giving them a much-deserved spotlight through financial support, but I also hope to see brands building genuine relationships with the game through investment in grassroots football.
Only 44 per cent of girls at secondary school age are offered the chance to play football, and the diversity amongst the professional teams in women’s football is visibly lacking. Brands can help ensure all girls have equal access to the sport with high standards of coaching and facilities. They should start by investing in new facilities, particularly in pitch space for women’s football teams in underfunded areas. Without taking away anything from the players, and the jubilation, attention is clearly still needed when it comes to ensuring all girls can benefit from this Euros legacy. The opportunity to support the game is incredible right now and the opportunity to evolve brands’ roles in it even more so- we just need to make it happen.