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19th Oct, 2023

Sky partnership extended to champion inclusion

Sky has announced today that it will be extending its partnership with Kick It Out, pledging an additional £1 million investment over the next year in a mix of cash and Value in Kind support.

With 67% of those who experienced discrimination over the past 30 years expressing that they experience it less often due to the work of Kick It Out, the extended partnership will help create additional educational content for clubs and fans, and boost annual transparency and insight reports on a range of issues relating to diversity, discrimination, and inclusion in sport.

Stephen van Rooyen, UK & Ireland CEO and Chief Commercial Officer, Sky Group said: “Sky is football’s biggest partner in the UK which means we have a responsibility in helping the clubs, players, fans, and industry become more inclusive. Extending our partnership with Kick It Out for another year means that we will be able to develop new initiatives aimed at addressing discrimination in sports and continue to deliver campaigns that make a difference.”

Tony Burnett, CEO of Kick It Out, said: "We are delighted to extend our partnership with Sky in our 30th anniversary year and hope to build on the work already achieved which has enabled us to provide underrepresented groups with educational opportunities, support minority communities to make a career in the sports industry and establish a valuable platform to drive inclusion.

“We can now look forward to delivering further exciting new initiatives which include creating space for dialogue about discrimination and continuing to drive fair representation across the game.

“Kick It Out is committed to tackling discrimination in all its forms and creating a welcoming environment for all, and we’d like to thank Sky for joining us on that journey.”

Funded through Sky’s £30 million commitment to tackle structural inequality, Sky’s multimillion pound investment has supported several initiatives crucial to driving inclusion in football and to tackling discrimination in all its forms.

This has included The Edit, a digital and media literacy skills programme for young people across the UK & Ireland in collaboration with Adobe which reached over 40,000 students from 646 schools; Kick It Out’s digital learning platform, The Academy, which has provided over 1000 stakeholders across football with educational content on equality, diversity and inclusivity; and a scholarship programme with the University of Liverpool Management School for students from black and minority ethnic backgrounds to gain  an MBA in Football Industries.

Yusuf Molade, University of Liverpool Management School Football Industries MBA Graduate, said: "The MBA was truly a life-changing experience. I built fantastic relationships with course mates, lecturers, and alumni; moved to Liverpool for a year, a hotbed for football activity; took international trips including to UEFA and FIFA in Switzerland and Madrid where we visited Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Getafe; and engaged with Kick It Out regularly, deepening my appreciation for the work they do to combat discrimination.

"We were taught by industry-leading academics, helping me to develop my understanding of the football industry and the course also provided me with very useful networks that I’ve been able to take advantage of. I have applied the knowledge obtained on the course in my current role at Grant Thornton, especially to our sports clients as I am now able to better understand their needs."