Everton leads the way for football at 2020 Sports Business Awards

Everton Football Club and Everton in the Community shortlisted for five awards – more than any other football finalist at the 2020 Sports Business Awards. Club, charity and partners will compete against Cricket World Cup 2019, The Open and Premiership Rugby among others.

Everton Football Club and Everton in the Community have been shortlisted for a total of five awards at the 2020 Sport Business Awards.

With award nominations spanning the club and charity’s work in fan engagement, community impact and its professional services team, the five nominations see Everton lead the way for football as the most nominated club at the nationally recognised awards.

The Blues are finalists in the Best Fan Engagement Campaign, Sports Diversity and Best Professional Services categories, while Everton in the Community is shortlisted for Best Club Charity and Best Club CSR or Community Scheme.

The prestigious Sports Business Awards are open to all sports disciplines, and the Club and Everton in the Community will now compete against other high-profile organisations and events including the Cricket World Cup 2019, Golf’s The Open Championship, Premiership Rugby, Jockey Club Services, The Royal British Legion and a small number of other Premier League clubs.

The nominations recognise Everton’s ground-breaking work with fans, community, partners  and its own staff which this year has resulted in impressive Premier League Fan Survey results, planning permission being granted for a £1million mental health facility – The People’s Place, and Everton’s third consecutive year as the only football club in The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

Winners of the 2020 Sports Business Awards will be announced at a ceremony in London on Wednesday 16th December 2020.

The Club and charity’s shortlisted entries include:

Best Fan Engagement Campaign – USM Tackling the Blues

Children from Linacre Primary School in Bootle enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime experience when they saw their portraits of Everton first-team players replace all in-game player graphics at the Blues’ Premier League fixture with Newcastle United in January.

Linacre Primary is one of a number of schools taking part in the ‘Tackling the Blues’ programme, delivered jointly by Everton in the Community and Edge Hill University, and funded by the Premier League. The initiative aims to teach young people strategies for good mental and physical health, promote emotional literacy and improve self-esteem and confidence.

Drawing portraits is just one of the ways that children are encouraged to explore emotions, behaviours and practise peer support. Club partner USM invited the Linacre pupils to USM Finch Farm for a drawing session –  where they were surprised by Club captain Seamus Coleman, midfielders Fabian Delph and Theo Walcott, and goalkeeper Jonas Lossl, who sat for their portraits in person and took part in a Q&A with the children on the themes of acceptance, self-esteem, diversity and respect.

The children’s portraits appeared on stadium screens, in the matchday programme and across Everton’s official matchday social media and website output. The images trended on social media and gained international media coverage with fans praising the children’s drawings and the partnership work between Everton and Edge Hill University on the Tackling the Blues programme.

Sports Diversity Award

Everton’s Altogether Now campaign, which seeks to promote and embed equality and diversity in everything the Club and Everton in the Community does, has led to a number of significant achievements this year. Last month, Everton announced it had become one of the first football clubs to sign up as a Stonewall Diversity Champion, and in February it was awarded the Advanced Level of the Premier League Equality Standard (PLES).

So far this year the Club and charity have established Women’s, LGBT+ and Mental Health Staff Networks, and actively supported Kick It Out and Rainbow Laces campaigns. In September 2019 the Club supported fan group The County Road Bobblers in their creation of a fan-led anti-racism banner to welcome Moise Kean to the Club, after the player suffered racist abuse in Italy. The banner, which shared the message ‘No Al Razzismo’ was praised internationally by fans, media and Kick it Out.

Best Professional Services Firm in Sport

Everton’s Legal, Risk and Governance Team has been recognised in the Best Professional Services category for its in-house model that brings together specialists across the risk and governance spectrum. The team delivers a joined-up service touching every part of the business, from compliance around matchday logistics, protecting the data of millions of fans, to player transfers, commercial partnerships and how the club deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

The entry also showed how the team has embedded an understanding and culture of risk and governance across the Club and Everton in the Community – which has since allowed Everton to take decisive action in response to coronavirus by becoming the first football club to close all sites and implement remote working, even ahead of the government lockdown to ensure staff welfare and minimal disruption.
Best Sports Charity

Everton in the Community has been shortlisted for Best Sports Charity for itsground-breaking work across Merseyside this year, and which saw the announcement that the charity’s societal value has benefited the local economy by £222.3m over the last three years.

Everton in the Community runs more than 40 programmes for people of all ages. In the last year alone, 145,816 individuals have engaged with activities and programmes tackling social issues such as knife crime, health and wellbeing, poverty, mental health and dementia. The charity was given the royal seal of approval in January by the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, who came to see first-hand the pioneering work that it does to promote positive mental health.

The charity’s work has taken a new form in response to coronavirus, with the Blue Family campaign launching quickly and, up to now, supporting more than 6,000 vulnerable and at-risk families and individuals, delivering more than 1,500 emergency food parcels and food vouchers and reaching more than 35million people with tailored online content.

Evertonians recently showed their overwhelming appreciation of the work the charity does, with 98% agreeing that Everton makes a significant contribution to the community (20% higher than the Premier League average in the 2019/20 Premier League Fan Survey).

Best Club CSR or Community SchemeEverton in the Community’s People’s Place

Everton’s emphasis on promoting positive mental health has also been recognised with a shortlisting for The People’s Place campaign – which aims to raise £1million to help Everton in the Community build and develop a purpose-built mental health facility in the shadows of Goodison Park.

It was announced last month that The People’s Place has successfully been awarded planning permission from Liverpool City Council for the facility, which will provide tailored support to promote positive mental health and suicide prevention. The People’s Place will provide a space for people to access a broad range of activities including exercise, arts and culture that are shown to improve mental health as well as being able to connect with others who may have experienced similar challenges.