BT to promote grassroots, para and women's football as home nations sponsor

It will use technology, innovation and digital skills in football communities to help change lives of players, coaches and fans.

BT Sport: sponsoring FA, Scottish FA, Irish FA and FA of Wales
BT Sport: sponsoring FA, Scottish FA, Irish FA and FA of Wales

BT is using its sponsorship of the home nations football associations as an opportunity to create a "meaningful legacy" across grassroots, para and women’s football in the UK.

The brand revealed its "4-3-3" strategy today and said will use technology, innovation and digital skills in football communities across the UK to help change the lives of players, coaches and fans.

BT is sponsoring The Football Association, Scottish FA, Irish FA and FA of Wales for five years.

For disabled players, BT will work with tech innovation hub Plexal and Disability Rights UK to come up with a new format of disability football "for those who can’t play with their bodies, but could potentially play with their minds".

The brand is planning to invest in para documentaries and films for BT Sport, the first of which will be around blind football. BT will also show the Disability Cup – the first time that it will be broadcast live.

To connect grassroots football clubs across the nations, BT has pledged to improve digital, education and footballing skills. It is launching The FA Playmaker, a digital entry-level football coaching course for anyone over the age of 14.

In relation to digital skills training, BT is planning to give more than 200 football clubs a package of its services as part of the BT Skills for Tomorrow programme. This will be a range of skills to help develop employability and digital skills.

Finally, BT wants to boost women’s football by providing an opportunity for them to follow their ambitions for a career in sports broadcasting. It also wants to get 50,000 women to be a part of the FA Playmaker scheme.

Marc Allera, chief executive of BT’s consumer division, said: "Football, like BT, is part of the fabric of our nations and we believe that combining football with the power of our technology, innovation and people will benefit society and the lives of millions of people across the UK over the next five years. We’re using these partnerships to break down barriers and create a meaningful legacy across grassroots, para and women’s football in the UK.

"This is the start of a very exciting journey that goes far beyond traditional sponsorships and we’re looking forward to successful partnerships, on and off the pitch, with all the home nations over the coming years."

This article first appeared on PRWeek sister title Campaign

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