The Football League has struck an innovative sponsorship deal with nicotine replacement brand Nicotinell which will see clubs and their fans rewarded for going ‘smoke free’.
The two-year contract, worth a six-figure sum, sees Nicotinell installed as the official nicotine replacement therapy of The Football League and will look to engage football fans to help them give up smoking in line with the new smoking ban affecting stadiums across the UK.
The contract, negotiated by agency MEC Sponsorship, will see Nicotinell products made available in club shops at grounds. In addition, fans will be able to win up to £30,000 for their club and prizes for themselves by going smoke free.
A website, www.keepthefire.co.uk/football, has been created for fans pledging to quit with those who register receiving points depending on how their ‘smoke free’ attempt is progressing.
The points won will be consolidated into a constantly updated league table for each division, and towards the end of the season the two clubs at the top of each division will win a cash prize.
The winning clubs will then present three options for spending the money, which ranges between £10,000 and £30,000 and the fans will choose how the money is allocated.
Of the 16m fans annually attending Football League games, it is estimated that up to a quarter of those attending matches are smokers.
The Football League has made all club grounds ‘smoke free’ zones, a decision that exceeds current government legislation in this area.