Sunderland AFC to celebrate Mandela Day

Sunderland AFC marketing director Mike Farnan, Centre of Memory CEO Achmat Dangor and British Labour MP David Miliband.

On 30 March 2013, Sunderland Association Football Club (AFC) will face Manchester United in a Barclays Premier League match at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, United Kingdom. This event has been titled “Nelson Mandela Day” in celebration of Sunderland AFC’s recent collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Among other initiatives designed to grow awareness of Nelson Mandela and the work of the Foundation, the football event sees the launch of a donation mechanism whereby fans can pledge their support by donating £2 to the Foundation.

Sunderland players will wear T-shirts for the pre-game warm-up bearing the Foundation’s logo and a special “Text to donate” message. Fans simply text SAFC67 £2 to 70070 to make their contribution.

The shirts worn during the game will be auctioned online via the club’s official website with all monies raised going to the Foundation.

On the day of the match both teams and 11 chosen mascots will take to the field through a guard of honour formed by youngsters sporting Foundation T-shirts. A flag bearing the Foundation’s logo will be displayed pitchside.

The Abatimbo Drummers of Burundi will entertain fans before kick-off and again at halftime.

Legacy Advocates of the Nelson Mandela Foundation

The Nelson Mandela Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1999 to support the former South African President’s ongoing engagement in promoting social justice outside a purely political arena following his retirement.

As Legacy Advocates of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Sunderland AFC will over the next 18 months support a number of fundraising initiatives on behalf of the Foundation, including a gala dinner planned for later this year.

The unique partnership between the club and the Foundation was launched in March 2013 and represents a first in world football.

The collaboration aims to help to promote Nelson Mandela’s legacy through the global reach of the Barclays Premier League. At the same time, Sunderland AFC hopes to utilise the organisation’s knowledge and expertise to continue to raise greater awareness of social issues, such as inclusion and diversity, and support football’s quest to eradicate racism from within the game.

“We are hugely proud of our association with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and this game provides us with a tremendous global platform to launch our partnership,” says Sunderland AFC’s marketing director, Mike Farnan.

“When we welcomed representatives from the Nelson Mandela Foundation to Sunderland, they were delighted with the work we do with the Foundation of Light, and clearly felt there was a great deal of synergy in what we are seeking to achieve. By becoming a Legacy Advocate of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, we hope to accomplish even more for a common good.”

Sunderland AFC began its off-field relationship with the African continent in 2011, forging a partnership with the Invest in Africa initiative to promote awareness of the opportunities of doing business in Africa. Linking with Invest in Africa has also helped Sunderland AFC to grow its fan base and global presence, particularly in Africa, where nearly 1.2-billion people watch Premier League matches.

The club’s own registered charity, Foundation of Light, is widely recognised as the blueprint for community programmes across British football. It uses the power of football to involve, educate and inspire more than    42 000 young people and their families across the North East of England each year, through a broad range of innovative and award-winning programmes aimed at changing and enhancing lives.