UK – German athletics brand Adidas and British rapper Stormzy are launching #Merky FC, a programme to grant access to mentoring and off-pitch football (soccer) career opportunities for young people in the UK who identify as Black or mixed Black heritage.
Starting in January 2023, the programme will provide participating youth with paid work placements in 10 partner companies in the football industry, including Manchester United, Sky Sports and LADBible. This comes as recent research commissioned by Adidas revealed that while football may seem inclusive when looking at players – 39% of Premier League players identify as Black – diversity is lacking off the pitch.
‘Just 6.7% of senior roles in football are taken by someone who identifies as Black or mixed Black heritage. We barely see any Black team managers, coaches, sports presenters – the list goes on, nor are many of us even aware of the vast roles available within the football industry,’ explains Stormzy.
Where some football clubs already act as Civic Brands, the #Merky FC initiative aims to inspire deeper change and support racial equality across the industry.
Take inspiration from Adidas and Stormzy’s venture – are your business and industry committing to diversity beyond surface level?