Billions of people around the world are devoted to sport – playing it, following it, and watching it. Sport provides structure, regular community, collective joy and entertainment in a way that is unique. It has the power to bring people together, break down barriers, and shift public opinion on pressing social issues. At its best, sport can change hearts and minds.
The power of sport gives it a responsibility to lead by example, protect its fans, and safeguard its future and the future of its followers. Yet sport is constantly used as a gigantic advertising billboard: from individual athletes, teams, leagues, and tournaments to whole stadiums. Companies are given free reign to push products and services that have a detrimental impact on fans, wider society, and the planet. Whether it’s fossil fuel giants, gambling platforms, or alcohol firms, sports is awash with advertisements that look increasingly egregious given what we know about the social impacts of climate change, alcoholism, and gambling addiction. (For more info about ‘sportswashing’, see our report Sweat Not Oil)
Without taking a leading role in adopting and enforcing sponsorship policies that recognise the damaging practices of these types of businesses, sport is at risk of becoming a laggard rather than a pioneer. Instead, sport is well-placed to cultivate sponsorship deals and commercial partnerships that align with its values, protects its fans, and secures a future where sport thrives. The Game Changer Sponsorship Pledge seeks to bring like-minded sports clubs and organisations together to help them step-up on sponsorship, building a future where sport can continue to bring people together and inspire change.
For Clubs, Leagues, and Sports Associations
Commit to not signing sponsorship deals / ending sponsorship deals with high-carbon industries including: Fossil fuel companies, fossil fuel financers, airports and airlines, and car manufacturers.
Commit to not signing sponsorship deals / ending sponsorship deals with gambling companies.
Commit to not signing sponsorship deals/ending sponsorship deals with alcohol companies.
For Fans/Fan organisations
To pledge your support to the aims of the pledge.
To campaign and support campaigns calling for the end of sponsorship linked with fossil fuel, gambling and alcohol linked industries.
To leverage the issue of harmful sponsorship wherever possible with your club through your fan group, association or supporters board.
For Athlete Champions
To pledge your support for the aims of the pledge.
To use your platform where possible to publicly raise awareness about harmful sponsorship within sport.
To use your platform within sports organisations to advocate for changes in advertising and commercial partnership policies.
To encourage fellow teammates, clubs, and fellow sportspeople to speak out against harmful sponsorship where possible and appropriate.
Email us for more information and to get involved in the campaign.