Budweiser Club Futures - Winner of the Grass Roots Sports Sponsorship

SPONSOR: Budweiser





Our research, with input from both The FA and Football Foundation, into non-league football led us to the conclusion that clubs were struggling to generate their own revenue due to the standard/lack of their general facilities. This prohibited clubs from maximising their revenue opportunities & fully engaging with their local community.

Whilst many schemes focus on improving playing facilities, none purely focused on helping clubs become more self-sufficient and financially stable by improving/creating facilities that could help generate revenue and provide long term financial security.


Investing £1million across season two and three of The FA Cup sponsorship, Budweiser Club Futures aims to ‘help clubs to help themselves’ by giving 16 clubs competing within step 5-7 of the football pyramid the much needed finance to help them become self-sustainable and enhance their position as an asset and hub within the local community.


The programme has already benefited 8 clubs and will benefit another 8 this season.




Build credibility within, and demonstrate support for, grassroots football

Drive local community engagement

Support ABI’s mission to be ‘Best Beer Company in a Better World’

Establish an integrated programme that supports and amplifies overall FA Cup activity

Ensure investment is spread throughout the eight FA defined regions

Target 45 entries

Increase number of Budweiser UK Facebook likes



Identified areas within grassroots football needing investment through consultation with The FA

Built programme that invested into each of the eight FA regions

Broke down funding into 16 £50,000 Grants and 2 additional £100,000 Super Grants over 2 years

Secured partnership with League Managers Association (LMA) to deliver relevant ambassadors to promote programme

Secured partnership with the Non-League Paper to increase programme credibility and promote programme

Built a stringent application process in collaboration with The FA and ensured accountability and transparency with funds being managed by The Football Foundation.

Created brand look and feel that remained consistent with Budweiser’s FA Cup lead sponsorship

Built Club Futures specific Facebook tab

Ensured Super Grant process gave multiple opportunities for Clubs to engage with their local community


To ensure continual conversation around Budweiser’s FA Cup sponsorship, the programme was split into the following phases:


Programme Launch

24th August 2012 at Wembley with FA Director of Football, Sir Trevor Brooking and ABInBev European Marketing Director, Iain Newell

o Created initial programme awareness

o Sir Trevor gave the programme credibility within grassroots football

Ambassador launch event in September 2012 with Alan Pardew

o Pardew chosen because of background within non-league football

Only current manager to have played/managed in every round of the competition

o Event held at North Shields FC, a grassroots club eligible for a grant

o Promoted through media and social channels

o Members of Parliament informed of the programme launch and asked to encourage their local constituency club to apply for a grant

o Alan Pardew launch video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkTFOHk4COo


Grant Approval Committee

Role was to choose the eight regional £50,000 winners

o Representatives from Octagon, Budweiser, The FA, The Football Foundation and Budweiser’s PR agency

Prior to the meeting, The FA and Football Foundation reviewed each application against programme criteria

o Used to draw up a shortlist of the 5 strongest applicants from each region

Presented each shortlisted entry along with their recommendations

Committee discussed each applicant and selected first and second choices

Post-meeting, The FA and Football Foundation conducted due-diligence to ensure clubs could fulfil their business plans

All projects designed to generate revenue/savings for clubs in order that they can become self-sustainable

o Projects ranged from re-generating club houses to installing 3G small sided pitches

Eight winning clubs:

o South West: Camelford FC

o London: Raynes Park Vale

o South East: South Park FC

o West Midlands: Pegasus Juniors

o East Midlands: Bardon Hill FC

o North East: Blyth Town FC

o North West: AFC Blackpool

o East: Evergreen FC


Grant Award Events

Winning clubs received a bespoke award event attended by programme ambassador, local MP and local media

Helped further increase club awareness within community and wider through Budweiser social media channels


o South West: Paul Tisdale

o London: Dave Bassett

o South East: Martin Allen

o South West: Martin Foyle

o South East: Aidy Boothroyd

o North East: Paul Bracewell

o North West: Owen Coyle

o East: Alan Curbishley

Owen Coyle regional event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Disz2HuLvPU


Facebook Voting Stage

Created Club Futures specific app that allowed fans to vote for the club they wanted to win the £100,000 Super Grant

Clubs recorded their own two minute video to persuade fans to vote for them

o Advice and briefing document given

o Link to club videos:




Promoted through The FA and Budweiser UK Facebook pages

Videos hosted on Budweiser UK YouTube

Members of the public voted throughout February

Live voting tacker

Each club promoted within the Non League paper

Clubs encouraged to engage with local community in order to promote and drive voting


Super Grant Winner PR Event

Thursday 28th March 2013 at Blyth Town

Alan Pardew presented cheque and conducted PR activity, which included:

o Four minute dedicated grassroots piece on Soccer Saturday

o National and local media interviews

o Meet and greet with team members and supporters

FA Cup onsite to strengthen link with FA Cup sponsorship

Local MP in attendance

Blyth Town manager invited by Alan Pardew to spend a day with him at Newcastle

o Super Grant video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIBtQ67deLc


FA Cup Final

Arranged for Blyth chairman be part of The FA Cup Final presentation party

o On pitch pre-match handshake with key FA dignitaries

Used FA Cup Final sponsorship assets

Full page programme advertisement

Presentation with Sir Trevor Brooking in FA Club hospitality

In front of Budweiser’s Global management and FA sponsors

750+ guests



Programme Launch:

o Radio Syndication

1.57million total audience reach

Value: £46,623

o PR activity

79 pieces of coverage

Value: £229,000

55 applications submitted

Regional PR

o 40 pieces of coverage

o Value: £80,000

Total number of Facebook votes: 9,097

Additional Facebook results:

o 23,326 total views

o 14,838 unique viewers

o Tab equated to 49% of all Budweiser UK Facebook views in February

o Tab resulted in 9,000 new Budweiser UK Facebook likes

Super Grant PR activity

o 19 pieces of coverage

o Value: £172,000

4 minute grassroots piece on Soccer Saturday

o Value £3,500

View the 2019 Winners

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