This week on Friday Night Feast the boys look at how sports sponsorship could become a force for good. They hear from experts about how this sponsorship could be used to send kids a clearer message about healthy lifestyles.

If you saw tonight’s show, and would like to show your support, you can post on social media. “I want my Mayor to make sports sponsorship a force for good for all our kids #HealthySponsorship”

Who are the sponsors?

Did you know that in the 1980s, the English Football League Cup used to be called the Milk Cup? It was sponsored by the Milk Marketing Board. For much of the 1990s, it was known as the Coca-Cola Cup and now it’s the Carabao Cup, sponsored by the energy drink.

During the same time period, childhood obesity rates have soared.

Why is sponsorship important?

We all know that advertising is tactical and it works – especially at huge, global events. In 2018 Coca-Cola secured a five-year partnership with the iconic London Stadium, home to the 2012 Olympics.

It’s a strange situation when famous athletes credit their performance to a nutritious, balanced eating regime, yet the events they perform at give the opposite message.

What message do we want to send kids, when one in three now leaves primary school with a weight classed as overweight or obese?

Amsterdam refused to co-sponsor any event alongside fast food brands as part of a comprehensive health push. And the rate of childhood obesity fell.

Calls for change

One mum-of-two sums up the problem: “It’s hard for me to explain to my kids that sugary drinks and snacks are bad for them, when they see these products connected with the sports that they play and watch.”

There are also calls for change from the sporting world, and football fans are taking a stand.

The Football Supporters’ Federation for England and Wales has recently passed a motion to work with Healthy Stadia on a new campaign asking for further restrictions on unhealthy partnerships in football – but is anyone listening?

Let’s make sports events junk-free!

Britain is hosting several massive events in the next few years. We’ll be centre-stage for the Cricket World Cup in 2019, the Cycling World Championships in Yorkshire in 2019, Euro 2020, the 2022 Commonwealth Games… And maybe even the 2030 World Cup!

Sponsorship agreements for these events will be agreed in the next months and years. Wouldn’t it be amazing if Britain uses the global spotlight to lead the way and make these events junk-free?

If you saw tonight’s show and want to support groups like the Football Supporters’ Federation who are calling for change, let us know on social media!

You could post on social media: “I want my Mayor to make sports sponsorship a force for good for all our kids #HealthySponsorship”

Read more about Jamie’s campaigns on Friday Night Feast, here.