Sunderland AFC is to celebrate its recent collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation by designating its forthcoming game against Manchester United at the Stadium of Light ‘Nelson Mandela Day’.
The unique partnership between both parties was launched earlier in the month to help promote the former South African President’s legacy, through the global reach of the Barclays Premier League.
Sunderland AFC will be a Legacy Advocate for the Nelson Mandela Foundation which was established in 1999.
On March 30, Sunderland’s players will sport one-off t-shirts for the pre-game warm up, bearing the foundation’s logo and a special ‘text to donate’ message in support of the foundation. Both teams will take to the field through a guard of honour of youngsters also sporting Nelson Mandela Foundation t-shirts, along with eleven specially chosen mascots. A flag bearing the foundations’ logo will also be displayed pitchside.
African musicians, the Abatimbo Drummers of Burundi, will entertain fans before the game and again at half-time showcasing the unique musical sound of Africa.
Across the next 18 months, Sunderland AFC will support a number of fundraising initiatives on behalf of the Foundation, including a Gala dinner, planned for later this year.
The players’ shirts, as worn during the game, will be auctioned online via the club’s official website, to kick off the fundraising, with all monies raised going to help the foundation continue its work.
Sunderland AFC hopes to utilise the organisations’ knowledge and expertise to continue to raise greater awareness of social issues, such as inclusion and diversity and support football’s quest to eradicate racism from within the game.
Sunderland AFC’s marketing director Mike Farnan said: “By becoming a Legacy Advocate of the Nelson Mandela Foundation we hope to accomplish even more for a common good.”
Sunderland AFC began its off the field relationship with the African continent in 2011 forging a partnership with the Invest In Africa initiative to promote awareness of the opportunities of doing business in Africa. Linking with Invest in Africa has also helped Sunderland AFC to grow its fanbase and global presence, particularly in Africa, where nearly 1.2 billion people watch Premier League matches.
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