The adidas team has been hard at it working with Stormzy to create and launch #Merky FC, addressing off-pitch inequality in football

Yesterday the team were busy launching the new collaborative venture between adidas and Stormzy, #Merky FC – a careers programme committed to enhancing and protecting diverse representation in the football industry.

#Merky FC will provide access to UK based football career opportunities and mentoring, with adidas and 10 industry-leading brands providing work placements within their businesses, in a bid to change the game. #Merky FC is open to all however applications are specifically encouraged from candidates aged 18-24 who identify as Black or mixed Black heritage.

The launch comes on the back of research we commissioned with FARE Network that revealed just 6.7% of senior roles in football are taken by someone who identifies as Black or mixed Black heritage. Becoming a footballer is something a significant proportion of Black British young people desire to achieve (64%), yet only 0.012% will make it as a Premier League professional.

Since Sky Sports broke the exclusive on Thursday morning across TV, radio, online and social, we have so far secured over 160 pieces of coverage in the UK, including multiple print pieces in Thursday’s Evening Standard, a full page in this morning’s Guardian and 30 standalone national pieces including Guardian, Metro, Independent, Evening Standard, MailOnline, The Sun, Mirror Online as well as broadcast on ITV News, BBC Radio 1 and Capital.

In the consumer press we’ve had 32 dedicated pieces land on the likes of NME, HYPEBEAST, Rolling Stone and in football press like Versus and Goal as well as black news outlet The Voice to name just a few!

Conversation has also been widespread across Instagram, YouTube and Twitter with posts from a whole host of media outlets, influencers and social publishers like SHADE BOROUGH, GRM DAILY, LINK UP TV receiving half a million engagements in the last 24 hours.

A brilliant campaign launch with more to come … this is just the start for #Merky FC.