The Benefits Of Team Sponsorship
We’ve recently taken the opportunity to sponsor some budding young footballers – Ickenham Youth Football Club. One reason for this decision is of course because it allows us exposure for our brand and the Buckingham Swimming Pools name on the jerseys; like any sponsorship deal in football.
Yet that’s not our only reason. An unexpected bonus was an incredible boost to the morale of everyone at Buckingham Swimming Pools. We all felt a collective surge of pride when we saw our company name across the shirts. We’ve also had some fun swapping the ‘Meet the Team’ photos on our website for 70s retro-style football sticker book shots…
But the main reason we went ahead with the sponsorship is this: we believe teamwork influences and shapes lives from an early age. And what better exposure to teamwork can there be than through sport? If we can support kids from an early age, help make opportunities available to them; that’s something to be proud of.
How the opportunity knocked on our door
Richard is one of our Contracts Managers, and he drew our attention to the sponsorship opportunity because his weekend passion is coaching football. He’s been doing so for nearly six years, staying with and developing the same team; seeing them through from uncoordinated but exuberant under 5s to playing their first season of competitive football this year, aged twelve.
We asked one of the young players we’ll be sponsoring why he loves to play for his team. Here’s what he wrote:
I have been playing for IYFC since the age of 5 and last year I got my 100th cap for the club. It’s an amazing feeling every time I put on my football boots and knowing I am part of a great team with a community spirit. Playing for IYFC brings traits such as confidence, team spirit and sportsmanship to the table “as I would say the pitch”. I have always cherished the chance to play for IYFC.
Reading Arun’s comments, it’s clear the kids get more than a couple of hours of fun – and they are aware of that. Richard tells us the same; it’s more than a game. What he has witnessed firsthand over the six years is lessons learned through playing sport form the foundations of particular character traits that can be used to significant effect in adult life and in the workplace too.
Studies have demonstrated: the attributes developed through sport and teamwork usually take the children through to improved workplace experiences. A specific example comes from a study undertaken at Cornell University in 2014. It highlighted that those who play competitive sports during their secondary school years demonstrated higher levels of leadership and success throughout their careers. In the same report, it said employers also expected “student-athletes to display significantly more leadership, self-confidence, and self-respect than those who were active outside of sports”.
It’s widely recognised that when part of a team, children learn to develop determination and discipline, to depend on and respect each other; and to support each other towards the required outcome. Also, to share successes or to overcome failure and adversity. All attributes that are welcomed in an employee.
And it’s true of any sport, not just football of course. We’ve witnessed firsthand the positive effects swimming can have on children too. The Buckingham Pools team has had the privilege of building pools in community spaces, private and SEN schools and universities across the UK for many years.
The pictures you see here show some of the fantastic pool projects we’ve collaborated on. They provide even more pleasure to us because we know we’re having a positive influence on the future of the children who swim in them.
Sport shapes personality
We’re not saying if you don’t play sports as a child, then you don’t make a great employee. Of course not. What we are saying is: the evidence can’t be ignored. Sport has a positive influence on how children progress into adulthood and integrate into the workplace.
You don’t have to focus on team sports to hone your skills for the workplace, and we’re sure not many children will have that as their motivation for kicking a ball or swimming laps anyway! However, team sports will strengthen delegation, team building and time management skills. Individual sports are effective also. They can help develop stronger motivation, leadership traits and stamina because they are associated with higher levels of self-discipline and are more goal-focused.
Sports and business
Sporting celebrities have been using the skills learned through sport to influence the business world for decades. Excellent examples are former athletes Sir Sebastian Coe and Kriss Akabussi.
Also, former Olympic Swimmer, inspirational speaker and author Mark Foster is one of the UK’s most recognisable swimmers; representing his country for 23 years. He now uses the skills developed through his sport to help businesses improve in areas such as motivating staff; improving performance; cultivating a winning mentality; and of course teamwork. He’s an excellent example of how skills learnt in the pool can be transferred to the workplace and is now using them to great effect
Encourage their interest in sport as soon as you can
Not all our kids can be sporting superstars, but we can help them develop the skills to impact their future positively. That can be done on the football field, on the track or in the water. If they choose the water, then incorporating a pool in your home becomes more than a place for fun and leisure.
Start them young and, like other team sports, a love of swimming developed through easy access to a pool could lead to your offspring not only getting fit and healthy but developing a keen interest in a team sport or competitive swimming. Those skills could increase their ability to become a more accomplished and confident young adult and integrate into the workplace more easily.
And in case you’re beginning to wonder, our sponsorship does not mean we’re preparing the entire Ickenham Youth Team for future employment at Buckingham Pools!