Stormzy and Adidas launch #Merky FC, an initiative to increase diversity off the pitch

#Merky FC launches with a film starring Stormzy, who voices the programme’s aims to change the game with off-pitch opportunities for young Black people.

3 November 2022


Adidas and Stormzy have announced their partnership on #Merky FC, a new programme creating off-pitch and leadership opportunities in football for young Black people, such as creative and operations. The programme launches today (3 November) with a film shared by Stormzy and Adidas on Instagram; it is the latest of Stormzy’s #Merky projects, which currently includes publishing imprint #Merky Books.

In the launch film, Stormzy states: “On the pitch, we do our thing. But off the pitch, it’s like we don’t exist. That’s all about to change. Welcome to #Merky FC. A project I’ve created with Adidas to give young Black people opportunities within the beautiful game.”

The partnership responds to the fact that while Black players make up 43 per cent of on-pitch presence, “only 6.7 per cent of senior roles are taken by people who identify as Black or mixed heritage”, the #Merky FC site explains. It continues: “This partnership creates a multi-year career programme, and opportunities for those who do not currently have fair access and representation within the industry.” Stormzy goes on to discuss the major collaboration in a video with Jennette Kwakye and Jaydee Dyer.

The programme is backed by 11 brands and groups spanning the breadth of the football industry, including Manchester United, Fulham FC, Lad Bible and Sky Sports. These brands form a careers programme launching January 2023 that will offer work placements to cover the full spectrum of working experiences available within the industry. These include operations and community, as well as creative and marketing. Applications for placements open November 2022; more details are available on the newly-launched #Merky FC site.

Past #Merky projects have included Stormzy Scholarships, launched in 2018 to offer financial support to Black students at UK universities, as well as award-winning imprint #Merky Books – launched the same year by Stormzy and Penguin Random House UK – publishing intersectional and inclusive publications.

#Merky FC: Launch video (Copyright © #Merky FC, 2022)

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Adidas / Stormzy: #Merky FC (Copyright © #Merky FC / Adidas, 2022)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, she worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.

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