Since pledging to equalise its media spend across women’s and men’s sport by 2027, Ally Financial has become one of the most visible investors in women’s sport in North America.
Ally gained significant publicity in August last year when it increased its media investment with National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) broadcaster CBS to ensure that the competition’s championship game would be shown during primetime for the first time ever. That move met the objectives of the financial services company’s ‘Watch the Game, Change the Game’ campaign, which seeks to encourage viewership of women’s sport.
Since then, Ally has signed a multimillion-dollar deal with the Walt Disney Company that ensures 90 per cent of its media investment goes towards women’s properties, bought advertising from female-focused media platforms like Just Women’s Sports, The Gist and Women’s Sports Network, and teamed up with Sports Innovation Lab to create the Women’s Sports Club, a network of women’s sport stakeholders committed to increasing deal-making in the sector.
After the first year of Ally’s 50/50 pledge, the company has increased its investment in women’s sport by 300 per cent, meaning its media spend has gone from a 90/10 men-women split to approximately 60/40 in 12 months.
Founded in 1989 by a group of local climbers, Canadian outdoor apparel and equipment brand Arc’teryx is now at the forefront of increasing access to climbing.
The past five years have seen Arc’teryx invest CAN$600,000 in community-led climbing organisations and professional-adjacent clubs in markets such as Toronto, San Francisco, Chicago and New York. Backed by more than 1,000 employees and with over 3,000 retail locations worldwide, the North Vancouver-headquartered company is doubling down on that support, announcing in September 2022 that it plans to invest another CAN$5 million over the next five years through its NextGen Climb Commitment, whose funding benefits newcomers to the sport and others at the semi-pro and elite level.
Organisations that will continue to feel the support of the initiative include Flash Foxy, whose mission is to provide female and non-binary climbers a safe space to pursue their interest in the sport, along with Colour the Trails and Brown Girl Outdoor World. At the elite level, Arc’teryx sponsors Climbing Escalade Canada, the sport’s national governing body.
A first-time Laureus Sport for Good Index honouree, the company’s other social responsibility work spans providing complimentary passes to gyms, putting on free climb nights for marginalised communities, and ensuring fair labour practices across its supply chain.
AT&T is a long-time investor in various leagues and teams, but the telecommunications giant has been concentrating its recent efforts on improving access to, increasing representation of and deepening investment in women’s sport.
At the heart of that is the company’s She’s Connected content series, which spotlights female sports stars who have off-field careers or engage in philanthropic endeavours. Among those to have featured in the last 12 months are 2023 WNBA Finals MVP A’ja Wilson and USWNT forward Mallory Swanson, while retired basketball player Sue Bird and golfer Maria Fassi have participated since the campaign’s inception in 2020. The third iteration of the series includes a contest giving a female-owned small business the opportunity to win US$20,000 and feature in a She’s Connected episode.
In addition, this year saw AT&T prolong its decade-long sponsorship deal with US Soccer, which means it will continue to support the national governing body’s SheBelieves platform, while it will also work with the federation on a new initiative celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.
AT&T’s corporate sustainability efforts are being accelerated, too, with 75 per cent of open positions and 69 per cent of internal promotions in 2022 awarded to women and/or people of colour.
Returning to the Laureus Sport for Good Index for a third consecutive year, female-focused performance lifestyle brand Athleta continues to live up to its mission of igniting a community of active, healthy, confident women and girls.
The Gap-owned company’s devotion to gender equality manifests itself in the Power of She Fund which, since launching in 2020, has committed US$2 million in grants to organisations focused on female empowerment, impacting over 49,000 women and girls in the process.
Last year, the fund spread grants across three areas, including a childcare initiative set up by Allyson Felix, the first sports star sponsored by Athleta, to provide athletes who are mothers with free childcare resources. Funding was also given to organisations working to get women and girls more active and others committed to making fitness more inclusive.
The impact of Athleta’s social responsibility efforts is only set to grow after launching The Power of She Collective, a network of female athletes who will influence the company’s performance product, access personal and professional mentorship opportunities, and participate in the brand’s community initiatives.
That announcement in March coincided with news of a US$175,000 donation from the Power of She Fund to the Women’s Sports Foundation.
Perhaps best known for its ties to its hometown Bundesliga soccer club in Leverkusen, pharmaceuticals firm Bayer has a deep-rooted history of encouraging its own staff and the wider community to stay active.
Bayer’s first sports club was established at the start of the 20th century by employees who simply wanted to make good use of their leisure time. That legacy remains strong today, with the German company now funding 22 sports clubs across Leverkusen, Dormagen, Krefeld-Uerdingen and Wuppertal, which cumulatively boast around 47,000 members and offer activities at recreational, club and elite levels.
A sponsor of Germany’s National Paralympic Committee (DBS) since the turn of the millennium, Bayer also has a long-running commitment to raising the profile and improving the perception of disability sports. In 1950, it founded the TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen Disabled Sports Department which, with about 300 members, has grown to become one of the largest disabled sports clubs in Germany.
Those efforts are not only inspiring more disabled people to participate in sport, but also delivering success for Germany on the international stage. Bayer-supported athletes have won some 90 medals at the Paralympic Games and have also competed at world and European championships.
With a dedicated team of more than 50 motorsport specialists, DHL handles the logistics requirements for globe-trotting championships including Formula One and Formula E. Its chief focus is on reducing those series’ environmental impact and helping them achieve their sustainability goals through initiatives like the introduction of biofueled trucks, redesigned freight containers compatible with more sustainable modes of transportation, and logistics network optimisation.
In partnership with Formula E, DHL’s ‘Together Green Award’ recognises sustainability champions from all over the world and is supported by a legacy programme that includes tree planting, community engagement, and promoting gender equality through FIA Girls on Track. One creative activation at the Mexico E-Prix saw the creation of a ‘carbon-eating mural’ in the centre of the city using photocatalytic paint that can sanitise air and eliminate toxic or harmful substances, helping to offset the carbon emissions from the equivalent of 28 cars over a six-month period.
As further evidence of its ESG commitments, DHL Group’s Sustainability Roadmap includes a €7 billion investment in clean logistics operations with the goal of reducing emissions from 33 million tonnes in 2020 to under 29 million tonnes by 2030. The company also plans to electrify 60 per cent of its last-mile delivery vehicles and deploy more than 80,000 e-vehicles on the road within the same timeframe.
DXC Technology is focused on providing technology education for the next generation, leveraging its role as the official digital transformation partner of Manchester United to deliver workshops and game day activities for young people.
The global IT services firm provides opportunities for students through its Digital Futures Academy, an educational programme that uses a curriculum co-created by its technology experts, alongside Manchester United Foundation and local teacher advisory groups. Fifty students aged between 12 and 13 years old are part of the first wave of the programme, which will see them learn vital technology skills over the next four years.
As well as educating young people, Virginia-based DXC is committed to improving societal outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through its First Nations Program. Through this initiative, the company collaborates with indigenous communities and partners to co-design initiatives in education, business, employment and community engagement.
As part of its broader ESG commitments, DXC has also made significant investments in indigenous businesses, as well as coordinating the donation of hundreds of technology devices to schools and communities. Additionally, the company has invested US$25 million in mental health research and neurodiversity as it aims to foster an inclusive, high-impact culture.
Video game publisher EA SPORTS recently announced a new initiative called FC FUTURES, a plan to meaningfully invest in community-level soccer on a global scale with the purpose of growing the game for all. The plan will see investments over the next three years across multiple grassroots projects and follows EA SPORTS’ new brand identity, logo and vision reveal for its new game, EA SPORTS FC.
Additionally, in the last year, EA SPORTS announced several initiatives dedicated to championing the women’s soccer community and growing the game both on and off the pitch. EA SPORTS unveiled the ‘Starting XI Fund’, an accelerator fund through which EA SPORTS has committed US$11 million, which will incorporate in-game, league, club and athlete investments to continue elevating the women’s game.
EA SPORTS also announced that, beginning this year, it will fund a women’s soccer internship programme with each new and existing women’s league partner, designed to inspire and empower young females from diverse backgrounds to become involved in the world of soccer.
EA SPORTS’ commitment to social change also extends to representation through the EA Madden Scholarship programme. To date, the company has committed US$2.5 million to the programme, which was created in partnership with the United Negro College Fund and awards 24 scholarships through historically Black colleges and universities in the US, with scholars receiving mentoring and consideration for new graduate roles at EA.
Multinational utility company Engie is a longstanding supporter of tennis in its native France and currently sponsors multiple International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournaments held in the country. Many Engie-supported events, including nine which carry the name Engie Open, are accompanied by workshops designed to raise awareness of renewable energy among young people, while the company also operates free online courses that provide education around sustainable development.
Through its Engie Foundation, the company supports charities such as Yannick Noah’s Fête le Mur, offering opportunities for young people to get involved at tournaments as ball kids, watch matches and play tennis. Such initiatives feed into Engie’s wider commitment to help vulnerable people by supporting projects that promote inclusion through culture, education, health and sport.
Elsewhere Engie also uses its long-running alignment with kitesurfing – a sport which uses a renewable energy in the form of wind – to amplify its message and accelerate the transition towards a carbon-neutral economy through more environmentally-friendly solutions. At each stage of this year’s Engie Kite Tour, the company has teamed up with the Fondation de la Mer to organise beach cleans involving schoolchildren and members of the general public.
Gatorade commits to breaking down barriers faced by athletes in sport with the goal of creating equal opportunity regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic background, or sexual orientation. In 2022, the sports drink brand launched the Equity in Sports initiative, part of a multi-year commitment to level the playing field for millions of underprivileged children.
Equity in Sports is being delivered through Gatorade’s collaborations with social impact organisations such as Athlete Ally, Good Sports, Honest Game Foundation, Laureus USA and the Women’s Sport Foundation. Some US$10 million will initially be invested into those organisations to amplify their platform and advance their work.
Through those partnerships, Gatorade has made donations to support specific causes. During the WNBA All-Star Weekend in 2022, the brand donated US$25,000 to provide girls from the Chicagoland area with greater access to sport, while it has also teamed up with NWSL side Angel City FC to deliver 70 new kits to certified female coaches. For the past three years, too, Gatorade has collaborated with espnW to back the WSF Sports4Life Grant Program, supporting around 40 female athlete organisations by providing resources to increase the participation of women in sport on and off the field.
Last year, in partnership with NBC Sports, Gatorade also provided funding for the launch of Laureus Sport for Good USA’s Elevating Black Leaders in Sport Initiative, a fund designed to support grassroots, Black-led non-profit organisations who provide programming for youth from under-resourced communities.
Through its multi-year title sponsorship deal with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Hologic brings its expertise in women’s health to supporting the sport’s biggest names for the long term.
As the WTA’s official health partner, it has provided athletes with a DXA scan, which analyses bone density and body composition in detail. This bolsters the WTA’s extensive health screenings that players are provided with, as part of both organisations’ joint goal of championing women and prioritising their health.
Hologic also became the founding partner of Hologic WTA Labs, a WTA initiative focused on health innovation and research-based projects specific to female athletes. The medical technology specialist’s involvement has led to an expansion of health resources to tour players, increased panel discussions on women’s health, and more campaigns that educate the public on numerous health matters, including cancer awareness.
Beyond its collaboration with the WTA, Hologic has created ‘Project Health Equality’ to fund initiatives helping to overcome social disparities that have driven issues like systemic racism, bias and the well-documented history of mistrust between people of colour and the medical community. Additionally, it has provided philahropic assistance to organisations such as the National Alliance for Hispanic Health.
With the aspiration of creating inspirational women, Iberdrola has made it a key focus to spotlight leading female athletes.
During the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2023, it produced an audiovisual piece that featured star Spanish sportswomen, including two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas, taekwondo sensation Adriana Cerezo and swimming star Ona Carbonell. The campaign saw the athletes team up to recreate a huge playing field to demonstrate the support for the Spanish national soccer team from all of Spanish sport.
The multinational electric utility firm also created the Iberdrola Supera Awards, which was first held in 2020 and has taken place every year since. It recognises programmes that focuses on several values, including gender equality and the empowerment of women through sport. Each of the award winners are rewarded €50,000, in addition to gaining recognition for their project.
As well as this initiative, Iberdrola promotes 32 Spanish federations, including the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), through its ‘Women, Health and Sport’ programme. Its support impacts around 600,000 sportswomen in Spain, with 27 of them chosen as ambassadors that work to gain greater media coverage for women’s sport.
Over recent years, youth sports management software specialist LeagueApps has organised an employee-led crowdfunding campaign for its FundPlay programme, which has evolved into becoming the non-profit FundPlay Foundation.
In 2021, more than 60 employees fundraised for Cycle for Survival and other FundPlay grantees as part of a pilot for the crowdfunding campaign. A year later, LeagueApps worked with its grantee South Bronx United to close a capital campaign, which resulted in the building of an indoor mini pitch at their new office. Academic space was also established close to Yankee Stadium as part of the initiative.
The following year saw LeagueApps work with the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation to support the construction of two Dodgers ‘Dreamfields’ spaces for baseball and softball in Inglewood, California. Collectively, all three campaigns raised more than US$290,000, with a donation of US$50,000 made to each of the organisations that LeagueApps partnered with.
LeagueApps has also provided free licenses to its software through FundPlay through the grant programme and partnerships with pro teams and leagues, which has created more than 600,000 youth sports opportunities in underserved communities.
With its ‘Play Unstoppable’ campaign, Lego has demonstrated its commitment to championing young girls and relieving gender biases around sports, play and other activities.
In 2023, the toy giant partnered with soccer stars Megan Rapinoe and Sam Kerr to promote women’s sport through ads and a soccer-themed Lego set called ‘Unstoppable Girls’. The company also released the ‘Play Moves Us’ short film that features the aforementioned players and explores the connections between building, fashion, games and music, while emphasising the importance of playing ‘without boundaries’.
Lego has also become the first official partner of Football Australia’s Legacy ‘23 programmes, which aim to inspire the next generation of soccer players through inclusive play. As an official partner of the CommBank Matildas and Subway Socceroos, it has launched content campaigns and promotions to further encourage participation among young people.
Ahead of the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2023, for example, Lego encouraged the public to visit the Lego Play Stadium at the Matildas’ final warm-up game before the tournament. As well as providing visitors with an immersive experience, it also unveiled a life-sized Sam Kerr minifigure build, showing its continued support for women’s sport.
New Balance is working to improve health and fitness among children and young people, encouraging running to tackle poor physical health, boost mental wellbeing, and celebrate individuality.
The Boston-based footwear and apparel brand has launched several challenges which set goals as a means of promoting physical activity. Its ‘Run Your Way’ campaign, operated in partnership with fitness app Strava, inspires people to achieve various milestones and has drawn over 250,000 participants to date. Diversity and representation are showcased in the campaign advert where runners of different genders, ethnicities, and athletic builds are celebrated.
Alongside incentive-led campaigns, New Balance contributes financial support to a range of causes. In 2022, New Balance Foundation grants totalled US$8.5 million and provided 25 sports programmes which benefited 1.6 million young people.
Through its foundation, New Balance contributes to tackling childhood obesity, providing US$18 million in funding to the Obesity Prevention Centre at Boston’s Children’s Hospital. In addition, the Harlem Lacrosse project supports 900 students in 22 school-based programmes across five US cities, while the 100 Mile Club challenges students to run, jog or walk 100 miles over the course of an academic year.
It is estimated that 20 billion pairs of shoes are sold worldwide each year. However, 90 per cent of shoes are never recycled and some can take more than a millennium to decompose. To combat those startling statistics, planet-focused running brand NNormal created the No Trace Program, a scheme that takes used outdoor gear from any brand, regardless of the condition, and repairs it to give it a second life.
With an emphasis on durability, circularity, transparency and carbon neutrality, NNormal was founded in 2022 by ultra trail running great Kilian Jornet and Spanish family-owned shoemaker Camper to revolutionise outdoor gear production. A certified B Corporation and member of 1% for the Planet, the company now works closely with the Kilian Jornet Foundation to inspire people to protect nature, raise awareness of climate change, support environmental research, and broaden the debate around sustainability in sport.
Sustainable packaging startup Notpla has expanded its reach by introducing its flagship Ooho product, an edible bubble for liquid that replaces the need for single-use plastic, into vending machines at the London Aquatics Centre, one of the main venues of the London 2012 Olympics.
A six-month trial that kicked off in July marks the latest milestone for Ooho, which is made from seaweed and provides an on-the-go drink solution, having already replaced 36,000 plastic bottles at the London Marathon. Other venues to get a taste of Notpla include cricket’s Kia Oval, which forms part of Surrey County Cricket Club’s vision to transform the famous ground into a carbon-neutral venue by 2030. Notpla’s seaweed-coated sustainable packaging is now part of the matchday experience at the county’s home.
Further highlights in Notpla’s eco efforts include being named the winner of the Earthshot Prize in the ‘Build a Waste-Free World’ category last December. Founded by Prince William and the Royal Foundation, Earthshot is a global environmental prize aimed at discovering, accelerating and scaling groundbreaking eco-solutions to repair and regenerate the planet.
Swiss sportswear brand On is setting the standard in sustainable product engineering, designing fully recyclable shoes and proving the commercial viability of technological advancements such as CleanCloud, a high-performance foam material created using carbon emissions as a raw material. The innovative manufacturing process sees carbon monoxide captured from industrial sources and then fermented into liquid ethanol, which is in turn dehydrated to become ethylene and subsequently polymerised to become EVA, a lightweight material ideal for performance shoes.
On’s CleanCloud technology is a significant step towards decoupling the company’s growth from its carbon emissions. Yet its work in sustainability goes far beyond environmental initiatives and deep into the realm of social purpose. Through Right to Run, its social impact programme, the company is collaborating with a range of community-based organisations that are working, first and foremost, to democratise movement.
With 25 partners spanning multiple countries, On’s aim is to positively impact 100,000 community members through monetary and in-kind donations, volunteer assistance, event support and more. Current partner organisations include We Are Queer, an Amsterdam-based gym for non-binary people; Ubuntu, established to boost BIOPOC representation in the Toronto trail running scene; and Sportegration, a project in Switzerland that promotes sustainable and successful integration of refugees through sport.
Outdoor clothing and sportswear brand Patagonia hit the headlines in 2022 when its founder Yvon Chouinard announced he was giving away the company to a charitable trust. The new ownership structure means any profit not reinvested in running the business will go towards tackling the climate crisis. The company projects that it will pay out an annual dividend of roughly US$100 million, depending on the health of the business.
Patagonia’s eco-focused approach also informs how it chooses and works with brand ambassadors. Notably, the company has collaborated with Marie-France Roy, who produced the environmental documentary ‘The Little Things’, while rock climber Tommy Caldwell raises awareness on climate change as extreme weather conditions make his sport increasingly dangerous.
Running alongside Patagonia’s sustainability initiatives is a commitment to workers’ rights and fair labour practices. As a founding and accredited member of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), Patagonia actively engages with the non-profit organisation to improve working conditions and promote transparency and accountability throughout its supply chain.
Through this collaboration, Patagonia conducts regular assessments and audits of its suppliers to ensure compliance with labour standards, including fair wages, safe working conditions, and no child or forced labour.
A second-time Sport for Good Index honouree, Rapha has bold ambitions to bring about systemic change in the sport of cycling. As part of its push for greater diversity and inclusion, the premium apparel brand allocates at least 50 per cent of its annual athlete sponsorship to BAME and LGBTQ+ cyclists, as well as female teams and riders.
In 2022, Rapha also committed to having 50 per cent representation of women, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ across its campaigns, including those produced by its Rapha Films video division, and last year more than 80 per cent of all spending on storytelling went towards these groups. Notably, following the return of the Tour de France Femmes after a 33-year absence, the brand released a behind-the-scenes documentary following the EF Education-TIBCO-SVB team’s journey to the Champs-Elysees.
Elsewhere the Rapha Foundation supports dozens of grassroots organisations and projects around the world, including London’s Herne Hill Velodrome and Cycle Kids Inc., which works to build confidence among elementary schoolchildren through educational programmes in New York City and Tulsa. Founded in 2019, the foundation has provided over US$6 million of funding to 38 grantees around the world to date.
With research suggesting many young people feel excluded from movement, Rexona launched its Breaking Limits Programme in 2021 alongside Beyond Sport. The initiative, which brings together 43 leading sport for development NGOs from around the world, aims to give disadvantaged youth the confidence and opportunity to move however they want through the removal of barriers that threaten their progress.
The antiperspirant and deodorant brand has expanded the programme’s operations considerably this year, with market launches in Australia, New Zealand and Colombia. Meanwhile in the UK, the initiative was implemented in 750 schools, with inclusive and accessible lessons plans for teachers. Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds was also made a Breaking Limits ambassador, helping to further raise awareness about the campaign.
Alongside Fifa’s women’s soccer objectives, Rexona launched the Breaking Limits: Girls Can training series, which aims to expand participation in girls’ soccer. It has also worked with Manchester City’s community department and Olympian para-snowboarder Amy Purdy to develop a free digital training programme for grassroots coaches, helping them deliver inspirational and inclusive lessons. The programme has upskilled over 12,000 coaches, as well as hundreds of thousands of young people.
Financial services group Sanlam oversees a range of initiatives that get more South Africans participating in and watching sport.
At the recreational level, the Cape Town-based company sponsors the biggest schools soccer tournament in South Africa. First held in 2012, the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup offers total prize money of R3 million (US$156,000), which goes towards legacy projects identified by the schools, as well as educational resources like books, lab equipment, and the development of infrastructure.
This year, recognising that not all South Africans can afford to watch pay-TV coverage of the Premier League, Sanlam sponsored the broadcast of 19 games on SABC1 to ensure that fans in the country could follow English soccer’s top flight on free to air. As part of the initiative, Sanlam also launched the ‘Strike with Confidence’ campaign, giving viewers the chance to win weekly prizes, including a VIP Premier League experience in the UK.
The company’s other CSR commitments include the R10 million (US$521,000) SMME Support Programme, which benefits small, medium and micro enterprises operating within South African national parks, and the Youth4Tourism initiative, which aims to address South Africa’s high youth unemployment rate by creating job opportunities in the tourism industry.
With an estimated one in four children leaving school unable to swim, Speedo has formed ‘Swim United’ to address this imbalance. Incorporating school engagement, free swimming lessons and digital content creation to help kids ‘find their joy in the water’, more than 1,250 have benefited from funded two-week intensive swim courses, which were provided by Speedo’s partner GLL Group.
Additionally, the rollout of Swim United has seen 600 intensive swimming course lessons take place, with a further 600 to come this year. Ninety-one per cent of the young people that have been helped with the courses are now water safe and 50 per cent are able to swim at least 15 metres. Over 70 per cent of marginalised groups have also felt inspired and more confident to get in the water after viewing Speedo content.
To further complement the initiative, April 2023 saw Speedo Swim United team up with Active Black Country and swimming stars Adam Peaty, Ellie Simmonds and Michael Gunning to launch a programme bringing pop-up pools to schools in the Black Country, an area of England’s Midlands.
UK-based, female-founded Starling Bank is on a mission to provide women and girls more access to football. Through various initiatives such as donations, grants and the UK’s first fantasy game for the Uefa Women’s Euros in 2022, for which it served as the official national banking partner, Starling is working towards ‘Changing the Game for Good’.
Its #OurTime campaign, fronted by three current and former England players, highlights the glass ceilings that continue to be broken within the women’s game while nodding to Starling’s mission to level the playing field for women within banking and technology. As part of the campaign, the company gave away around 500 matchday experiences, offered 25 grants of UK£1,000 to grassroots clubs, and supported a series of roadshows and fan parties in Euro 2022 host cities across the UK.
Following the historic tournament, the ‘Kick On with Starling’ initiative, developed in partnership with Gift of Kit, has committed to give UK£200,000 worth of kit, equipment and coaching vouchers to grassroots clubs that either have an existing women’s or girls’ team, or are creating a pathway to get more women and girls involved.
US insurer State Farm works with the National Basketball Association (NBA) to positively impact communities across America through the Assist Tracker programme. The NBA and State Farm donate US$5 for every assist made in the regular season, NBA All-Star Game, and postseason to improve STEM learning in classrooms and support after-school programmes. Since the start of the Assist Tracker programme, more than 425,000 young people throughout 87 communities have been impacted with US$3.2 million raised.
In 2023, the Assist Tracker programme was extended to include the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). In July, a new STEM learning centre and mindfulness room was unveiled at Grant Sawyer Middle School in Las Vegas and in September, two wellness rooms were created for the students & teachers at John Hayden Johnson Middle School in Washington D.C.
The company’s commitment to supporting communities extends beyond the Assist Tracker programme. State Farm Good Neighbour Citizenship Grants focus on safety, community development and education.
In addition, State Farm works with the climate first power company WattBuy to reduce the carbon footprint of homes. The collaboration offers a free service that creates a home energy report which provides renewable energy plans and practical suggestions for sustainable living.
Having been named the first ever title partner for the Women’s Six Nations in 2022, TikTok returned this year with its ‘Swipe Out Hate’ campaign, which aims to protect fans on the social media platform from those who spread hate and division. To further move the needle, captains from the international rugby union competition fronted the campaign alongside TikTok creators, explaining what respect and sportsmanship means to them and sharing how people can report hateful content.
The Women’s Six Nations initiative is part of TikTok’s wider commitments to stopping online abuse, including employing more than 40,000 safety professionals to keep the platform safe. In addition, TikTok works to counter misinformation and disinformation and says it is committed to respecting human rights across its global community of more than one billion people. And as well as ensuring the safety of its platform, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has committed to operational carbon neutrality by 2030.
Toyota celebrates the participation and inclusion of disabled people in sport. The company partnered with ParalympicsGB to launch the ‘Every Body Moves’ campaign to connect people in the UK with thousands of inclusive physical activities. More than 150 disabled people took part in introductory sessions for different sport activities through the programme.
Through research conducted by Paralympics GB, it was found that physical activity levels among disabled people were disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. To address this, the ‘Every Body Moves’ website features more than 7,000 inclusive virtual workouts which have been co-produced by disabled people, while Toyota provides financial aid through its Toyota Parasport fund to grassroots organisations that support inclusivity.
Meanwhile the company’s commitment to disability sports is further exemplified through a joint campaign Toyota launched with media giant LADBible, which encouraged young people to celebrate the Special Olympics World Games that took place in Berlin in June 2023. Both companies used their social platforms to showcase Special Olympics GB athletes through various forms of original content, including a self-shot ‘Day in the Life’ series.
Under Armour is committed to promoting equality and better representation in sports, particularly for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Through its partnership with Australian soccer international Chloe Logarzo, the sportswear brand helps increase the visibility of diverse role models in sports, as well as support the Sydney WorldPride Soccer Tournament, providing grants for event operations, prizes, personnel costs and hardship funds. Under Armour also supports local nonprofits and has established partnerships with national organisations like Rainbow Labs and Unmatched Athlete to provide safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ athletes and allies.
Added to that, Under Armour is deepening its commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their students through a series of initiatives to empower the voices of underrepresented athletes and communities. The company has also partnered with the National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches (NCMFC) to diversify the sidelines of America’s football teams.
Meanwhile, an ongoing six-year tie-up with Baltimore City Public Schools, called Project Rampart, is aiming to enhance the student-athlete experience and improve academic outcomes through sports, with Under Armour renovating school gyms and offering personal development tools.
Research conducted by Visa has found that 40 per cent of women struggle with social barriers and confidence in pursuing a business venture. To reduce that number, the company actively promotes financial education and female empowerment through various initiatives.
As part of its commitment to improving financial literacy, Visa has launched the ‘Behind Every Number, There’s A Story’ campaign, which saw the company award 64 grants to small businesses owned by women during the 2023 Fifa Women’s Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Across the tournament grants totalled US$500,000, with the largest single grant providing US$50,000 in funding.
Elsewhere, in partnership with Edfundo, the global payments giant launched financial education and money management app ‘Financial Football’, while during the 2022 Fifa World Cup it provided disadvantaged children a two-year financial education programme and provided custom-made plans for underprivileged residents in Qatar.
Visa’s work to achieve equality extends to female participation in sport as shown through the company’s commitment to making equal investments in the US men’s and women’s national soccer teams. After extending its partnership with US Soccer in 2023, Visa has ensured at least half of its investment now goes directly to the women’s team and women’s soccer initiatives.
Vodafone’s efforts to help four million people overcome the digital divide by the end of 2025 has seen it partner with UK charity Sported to launch ‘sports.connected’. The new initiative, which is part of the company’s ‘everyone.connected’ campaign, will provide more than 200 community sports clubs with digital skills training, connectivity and grants, benefiting approximately 12,000 young people in the UK.
Sported’s groups, 49 per cent of which are located in the UK’s most deprived areas and 66 per cent of which do not consider themselves well-connected, are a particular focus of the initiative. Vodafone is offering these groups free connectivity in the form of SIM cards and devices, and will co-create a bespoke digital business skills platform through its V-Hub. This platform will feature webinars, toolkits and training to help sports clubs raise further funding and engage more young people.
The telecommunications giant is also establishing a grant scheme that clubs can use to purchase kit and organise additional sports and activities for their communities, with Vodafone aiming to help clubs operate more effectively and increase participation in sports for young people in deprived areas.