The Football Foundation

The Power of Pitches

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The Challenge

The Football Foundation is the Premier League, The FA and Government’s charity that helps communities improve their local football facilities. Over three years, we worked with the Foundation on a campaign to raise awareness, understanding and advocacy for the ‘power of pitches’. Unlocking the power of pitches helps players get fitter, improve their mental health, grow confidence and build stronger relationships. These are all things that transform their lives and help strengthen communities.

One of our key campaign objectives was to unlock further government funding to help the Foundation direct investment where it’s needed most. Our approach combined influencing at central and local government levels to gain support from Government ministers down to local councillors.

The Solution

We helped the Foundation develop and activate a public affairs programme targeting ministers and influential political voices in Westminster to ensure that, despite the fiscal pressures of Covid-19, the government maintains the long-term commitment of £550m investment in grassroots football facilities made in 2019.

This campaign successfully helped secure the first tranche of funding from this long term commitment, with the announcement in 2021 that a further £63m will be invested into community football facilities over the next two years in England. We continued working with the Foundation to gain the support ministers and political influencers in securing years three and four of that commitment in the Spending Review in November.

Local authorities in priority areas are also crucial for the Football Foundation – both as potential applicants and supporters to other sources. Our focus was on engaging with local politicians and officials, including Local Authority CEOs, responsible Directors, key officers, elected officials and MPs at a constituency level, to help create a fertile environment for positive funding decisions to support the building or improving pitches that will help deliver the Local Football Facility Plans.

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The Impact

+100M media audience reaches - Positive brand stories, from local pitch openings to grant availability
+600 central & local government stakeholders engaged to stimulate funding applications and ensure support for grassroots facility investment
250% increase in grant portal applications by promotion through media, social and direct engagement
£63M successfully secured ongoing commitment from government for additional investment in grassroots facilities over the next 5 years.

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