EA SPORTS FC FUTURES Partners with UNICEF, Highlights Year One Impact in Global Game Growth

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FC FUTURES is EA SPORTS FC’s global initiative to grow the game for all.

Electronic Arts Inc. announces that their EA SPORTS FC FUTURES initiative has opened up grassroots football to over 170,000* people over the course of its first year and – in a further demonstration of their commitment to growing the game for all – unveils a new comprehensive programme, Namibia Futures, in partnership with UNICEF. This multi-year partnership will use the power of football to create long-lasting social change in Namibia and beyond, reaching over 46,000 children and adolescents.

Half of all children in Namibia face poverty, which limits social mobility opportunities, increases risk of exploitation and abuse, and means that many girls in particular are unable to complete their education. UNICEF already works with partners in the country to provide accessible interventions for girls to gain new life skills and occupational training to transform their prospects, often through the platform of sports. Through Namibia Futures, UNICEF will now reach a further 46,000 young people in Namibia, supporting them through football and games-based training to achieve their potential both on and off the pitch.

We’re thrilled to expand the partnership between our two organizations, following over five years of successful collaboration between EA SPORTS and Soccer Aid for UNICEF,” said Andrea Hopelain, GM & SVP of Publishing, EA SPORTS. “Through this program, we hope to meaningfully impact many young lives in Namibia, using the power of football and our EA SPORTS FC platform.”

“There are 300 million adolescent girls around the world today. With the right resources, networks and opportunities, they may be the greatest group of changemakers the world has ever seen,” said Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK). “Our new partnership with EA SPORTS FC, Namibia Futures, will support over 46,000 Namibian adolescents to build better futures both on and off the football pitch. I would like to thank EA SPORTS FC for standing by children and helping UNICEF to not only improve adolescents’ physical wellbeing, but also to develop key life skills that help them transform their lives with our partnership.

This year marks five years of an incredible partnership between EA SPORTS and Soccer Aid for UNICEF. United by a goal to help protect play for children everywhere, EA SPORTS has helped Soccer Aid for UNICEF to raise nearly £100m to support UNICEF’s transformative work.

Shane Horgan, Managing Director of Soccer Aid Productions, said: “We are delighted to be continuing our longstanding partnership with EA SPORTS – and, indeed, deepening the hugely positive impact that this relationship has already had on Soccer Aid for UNICEF. We are all extremely proud to be part of such important work, which we know will continue to help improve the lives of children around the world.

Across a successful first year, FC FUTURES has opened up the beautiful game to over 170,000 people across six continents by:

  • Developing and publishing a library of 7 free-to-access practices, in partnership with UEFA, as resources for young players and coaches to utilise in training. These FC FUTURES ACADEMY practices are currently being integrated into 54 National Football Associations and their Coach Education Programmes.
  • Supporting the creation and refurbishment of 11 pitches globally, from South London to Sydney.
  • Providing over 12,000 footballs to grassroots clubs, coaches and children as well as further items including boots, cones, bibs and more.
  • Partnering with multiple organisations, brands and charities including UEFA Grassroots, the Premier League, LA LIGA and now UNICEF, to make all of this possible and deliver programmes that make a long-lasting impact.
  • Awarding the inaugural FC FUTURES Hero Award to FC FUTURES ambassador, Ian Wright, to recognise his outstanding work in inspiring the world to love football, alongside a charitable donation to a grassroots football cause.

It’s been a busy and immensely productive first year for FC FUTURES,” said James Salmon, Senior Marketing Director, EA SPORTS FC. “We are incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved so far, and we thank our partners, our ambassadors and all the remarkable community leaders who have helped bring FC FUTURES to life. There’s still so much more to do to support community-level football on a global scale, but this collaborative effort will continue to ensure our investment is felt by local communities around the world who will truly benefit from the power of football.

It’s an honour to be the recipient of the first FC FUTURES Hero Award and I take great pride in seeing the strides the initiative has made around the world in the past year,” said FC FUTURES ambassador, Ian Wright. “To know that the first-ever pitch that came from this initiative is in my old community, at my old primary school, is a really special legacy for me and Rocky. The Rocky & Wrighty Arena at Turnham Academy wouldn’t have happened without FC FUTURES, and it’s amazing to see the positive impact our pitch is having on young people in the community.

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Looking ahead to year 2, in addition to Namibia Futures, FC FUTURES will continue to launch new pitches, create and publish more training practices, provide more playing equipment and further expand its partnerships, so FC FUTURES can continue to grow the game for all.