TalkTalk, the new sponsor of Salford City FC, is celebrating its first Manchester Pride as sponsor of the local club in style by featuring the rainbow version of TalkTalk’s logo on the team’s away kit. Having recently announced its five-year sponsorship, the kit has been designed for the players to wear across the entire season, raising awareness about the lack of diversity in professional football long beyond the Pride weekend.
Dr Carl Austin-Behan, LGBT Advisor to the Mayor of Greater Manchester and the former first openly gay Lord Mayor of Manchester, has praised TalkTalk’s continued support of the LGBTQ+ community. He says, “This is a bold and important statement by Salford City FC and TalkTalk. We know that lots of organisations change their logos during Pride season, but to have the pride rainbow on display throughout the entire football season sends out a clear and unambiguous message that Salford City FC and TalkTalk believe in equality and acceptance.”
“It’s fair to say that as a sport football has struggled with issues around homophobia and transphobia, so this is a positive message of hope for all LGBT football fans and players.”
TalkTalk, which is relocating its Headquarters to the Soapworks in Salford Quays this Autumn, is dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ+ community through both external partnerships and internal engagement. This has involved TalkTalk sponsoring York Pride, Salford Pride and the Pink Picnic in Salford. As well as engaging employees across the business to show their support by using their “Give Something Back Day” to volunteer at Village Manchester.
What’s more, TalkTalk also has its own LGBTQ+ community which is represented by its TalkPride group. The community hosts monthly coffee mornings as an opportunity to discuss issues, share ideas and network, encouraging employees to share their own stories via the internal communications network. It is hoped that this inclusive internal culture has helped encourage others in the company to be comfortable with who they are as well as educating the non-LGBTQ+ community on a range of topics, including how to address someone who considers themselves as transgender.
Karen Baird, Chairman, Salford City FC says, “We are proud to be able to show our support for the LGBTQ+ community throughout the football season, and not just during the Pride season. Hopefully by showing our support it will continue to help break down barriers. TalkTalk’s philosophy around equality, diversity and inclusivity is in line with our own, and we were pleased to see their commitments to the community when we discussed this partnership.”
Daniel Kasmir, TalkTalk’s Chief People Officer, said: “Raising awareness plays a crucial role in TalkTalk’s commitment to fairness, inclusivity and to improving the quality of life of the LGBTQ+ community both inside and outside the company. This is why we are changing the logo of Salford FC for the entire season. This is not about one day, and we are committed to driving change all year round internally through our TalkPride society and externally through our variety of sponsorships and partnerships across the country.”