M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment brings DE&I offer to Forefront

Increasingly, consumers expect brands to play a positive and authentic role in society – it’s become the gauge of cultural relevancy. With passions representing the cultural pillars in our society, they have the potential to be powerful drivers of change, but they are still inherently un-inclusive.

Our formalised offering, ‘Step Up’, is a commitment to making passions more equitable, by recognising that the worlds of sport and entertainment have systemic, endemic barriers to inclusion for many marginalised groups. We will work with brands leveraging passions to use their cultural positions and audiences to tackle these barriers in an authentic and credible way.

The dedicated offer, ‘Step Up’, is a natural evolution of the foundations that we have been building through establishing and supercharging our internal DE&I strategy, as well as projects, initiatives and campaigns developed organically with client partners. In recent years, we have been responsible for many purpose-led campaigns in passions, including the ‘Cricket has no boundaries’ campaign for NatWest England Cricket team sponsorship, ‘Where Everyone Plays’ for Coca-Cola’s partnership with the Premier League and most recently the ‘Re-setting the dancefloor’ campaign for Ballantine’s True Music platform.

The decision to formalise this expertise through ‘Step Up’ follows a successful strategic partnership with consultancy, Utopia, who have played a pivotal role in establishing strategic and impactful culture-change programmes within the agency and across our work with clients. As a result of the partnership, we have developed a strategic process which ensures brands go beyond superficial claims to create real, long-lasting change which truly resonates with audiences.

This is achieved through working with change-makers and people with authentic voices and lived experiences across different intersectional diversity dimensions, to understand genuine barriers to inclusion and create initiatives that will break down those barriers.

The agency’s commitment to making culture more inclusive extends beyond client campaigns. It can also be seen through support and alliances with organisations on the margins of sport & entertainment, including a pro-bono programme supporting black-owned enterprises, businesses and organisations within sport & entertainment, positions on women’s sports organisational bodies, as well as an official partnership with Limitless Live, the UK’s first social purpose music festival.

Jodie Fullagar, Joint Managing Director at M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment comments, “Having worked with Ballantine’s over the last year to champion diversity and inclusion within music culture, we have witnessed the positive transformations brands can provoke when there is a passion for meaning and purpose within the organisation. The worlds of sport and entertainment continue to be inherently un-inclusive; it is therefore a cultural and creative necessity for brands leveraging these passions for brand relevancy, to step up and build equity in and through the passions they represent. Brands must start participating in driving the change we all long to see; and we’re excited to be a part of this journey with our clients”.

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