Kick It Out has launched a new brand and “refreshed vision” that includes a focus on supporting sports other than football in the fight against discrimination.
Kick It Out – which agreed a three-year partnership with Sky in 2021 – was established in 1993 and predominantly worked within football, but began an exploratory partnership with the England and Wales Cricket Board in January.
The organisation will now look at expanding its remit, provided the sports in question are funded independently from football.
As part of its new vision, Kick It Out has committed to:
- Supporting words with action, providing long-term solutions and tangible acts
- Challenging ignorance and inequality and providing a voice for any individual or organisation
- Educating, informing and directing its audience and giving them tools for change
- Mobilising and empowering its allies so its message becomes theirs
- Confronting all issues, from the dressing room to the boardroom
Kick It Out says its new strategy will focus on three “key pillars of activity”, which it describes as:
- Amplifying unheard voices, leading thinking and advocating for change
- Creating understanding and building knowledge
- Inspiring opportunity and connecting it with unseen talent
The anti-discrimination body says its work will include establishing working groups to focus on specific issues, such as Anti-Semitism and the representation of the LGBTQ+ community, continuing to lead football’s response to online abuse, and upscaling fan educations programmes that provide rehabilitative sessions for those found guilty of discriminatory abuse.
Kick It Out has also launched a new logo. It says the image is in the shape of a football – its original sport – but also references a club badge design as it wants “supporters to wear the Kick It Out logo with pride”.
Sanjay Bhandari, Kick It Out’s chair, said: “Our heritage is tackling racism in football, but our scope for the future is to expand our remit to create more inclusive cultures in other sports and tackle every form of discrimination.
“Today, we run education programmes for academy players, parents and fans and we will be developing our education offering even further in the coming months.
“We will continue to campaign to make sure football is always welcoming to everyone. We remain committed to supporting people from under-represented and minority communities to make a career in football and thrive, and we will continue to call out discrimination wherever it happens – from your local park, to the Premier League, to your social feed.”
Tony Burnett, Kick It Out’s chief executive, added: “Our new visual identity is focused on being bold and energetic, and easier to adopt and utilise across different channels, activations and other sports. This, alongside our updated vision, will help us better reach our target audiences and execute our strategy.
“We also want to say thank you to the Sky Creative Agency; as part of our ongoing partnership with Sky, they have helped execute our new brand identity and bring our creative vision to life.
“We all know Kick It Out shouldn’t have to exist. Our biggest hope is that one day football and other sports will no longer need us. But right now we’re here to put an end to every form of discrimination. We won’t stop until it stops.”
Three key areas
“The key message we want to send to our beneficiaries is we are about driving positive change, and the rebrand reinforces that message,” Burnett added. “While we will always advocate and call out when things are wrong in football, we must also be a solution-orientated organisation – implementing solutions that will drive outcomes for the people we represent. We have three main areas of focus.
“The first one is voice, we will be a voice for under-represented groups, by having people from these groups as part of our organisation. We’ve set up several working groups to establish what the issues are. The second part of ‘voice’ is to push when we think policy change is needed. We have been very active in the Online Safety Bill. We’ve had a working group established for 18 months and brought all stakeholders together to tackle the issue.
“The second area is about skills. We have been active in the training field for quite a while, working with young players – particularly in the academies, right up to the age of 23. We’ve had a fan education programme that has been successful – we’re going to ramp up those areas, but we’re also going to invest in digital learning. We have a platform which launched in September – and that’s about us achieving scale, so we can reach more people.
“The third aspect is about talent. We’re conscious that people from under-represented groups often find it difficult to get jobs within football, that’s not just on the pitch or in the coaching spheres, that’s in the boardroom, marketing and media roles. So, our Raise Your Game programme will be reinvigorated, and we’re going to try and help people from under-represented groups access roles within football.”
“It’s all about action and it’s all about outcomes,” Burnett added. “Going forward, you will see an annual-outcome report that tells our beneficiaries exactly what we’ve managed to achieve in the previous 12 months… it’s about driving representation and having fewer incidents where people report discrimination.
“We formed our Online Harms working group 18 months ago to bring stakeholders from football, and some of the social media organisations, together, to look at what some of the challenges were and what we needed to do to address it. We also brought in the UK football policing unit and the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) to look at what we can do more of, from a sanctions’ perspective.
“We have made a lot of progress over the past 18 months but there’s a huge amount of work still to do. We’re working heavily on the Online Safety Bill, we’ve lobbied government heavily, we’ve participated in all the working groups and consultations around that Bill to make sure that it includes the things that will drive change and reduce the number of victims in football, as well as across the broader sporting landscape. We won’t give it up on that, we will see it right through.”