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Can Corporates help grassroots sports?

Is the time for corporates to think about redirecting some of their marketing budgets to support, engage with and to help grassroots sport? Will a company get the same returns on investment if it's measured by corporate values and not sales alone? With the changing times comes the opportunity to really engage with the local people, the clubs and the sports teams and to embed the brand into the community, positively impacting everyday lives. The Coronavirus is hitting everybody in different ways and grassroots clubs are no different. We can all remember our local clubs, the volunteer coaches who washed the kit, organised the team, sorted the transport and dealt with our enthusiastic highs and our bleak lows. Clubs provided a safe space for me growing up; they gave me a few hours a week away from the pressures of being a teenage boy growing up in East London. I had great role models that gave me my love of sport, taught me the real meaning of teamwork, loyalty, resilience and so much more. I am now really worried about the future of many community clubs and concerned that they will not be around to provide the opportunities that I had whilst growing up in East London. Historically, sponsorship from larger companies often went to larger clubs. If some of this was diverted to smaller clubs that have been around for years, through boom and bust, providing a safe place to socialise, learn, develop and excel, then our grassroots clubs would have the security to carry on providing for the next generation. The communities would be associated with dynamic, caring community-focused organisations and the good name would be spoken by boys and girls, siblings, parents, uncles, aunts and friends. What an impact on the community. Supporting grassroots sports clubs allows companies into the homes, hearts and the minds of the community, in a different way to regular advertising and conventional sponsorship. A small % of the cost of a TV advert could support dozens of sports clubs for years and more importantly help them to continue to provide the support that our young people need in our communities. Relationships are key, so how do we get more sustainable investment into grassroots sport? Should it mainly be provided by ongoing short term grant applications? Can companies do more to help build relationships with the local clubs? Do companies know how to reach grassroots clubs? Is there a vehicle in place to facilitate that link? There are some great examples out there of companies really engaging in grassroots sports. The benefits are enormous. #Samworthbrothers#CSR#ESG#diversity#goodhealthandwellbeing#genderequality#reducedinequalities#grassrootsport#communitysport#inclusion#hope