Former England footballer Jermaine Jenas is the face of a new campaign by Coca-Cola Great Britain to raise awareness of the challenges young people face in accessing support from coaches and finding spaces to play the sport.
The ‘Ball Games Allowed’ initiative will seek to address the challenge highlighted by a study that found that 50% of young people find it difficult to play football in their local community because of restrictions on space or a lack of coaching staff.
The survey of more than 2,000 people by CensusWide last month also found that 49% of 16 to 25-year-olds said they still have a ‘no ball games’ sign near their home.
However, nearly nine in 10 young adults said they would benefit from having football coaches in their community, while 68% said their community would benefit from having safe spaces to play.
Coca-Cola GB’s campaign is being supported by the StreetGames charity and will be given exposure via new multi-brand packaging promotion, giving consumers the chance to win tickets to Premier League matches.
The on-pack promotion will run until September across a variety of Coca-Cola brands, with the soft drinks company having already donated £200,000 to help improve access to pitches and coaches.
The campaign also features promotional videos, including the one above, in which Jenas speaks frankly about the role football played in his own childhood.
Kris Robbens, Marketing Director for Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland, said: “Football has an incredible power to bring people together and break down barriers and we want to celebrate that. But we know that many young people are still struggling to access pitches to play or support from coaches, so we want to address that.
“By working together with StreetGames, we want to give more aspiring footballers the opportunity to play in their local areas.”