Premiership Rugby, its title partner insurance broker Gallagher, and broadcaster BT Sport, today announced their support for Rainbow Laces, the campaign run by Stonewall to promote LGBT inclusion in sport.
To celebrate and show their ongoing support of the campaign, a special 'rainbow' Gallagher Premiership Rugby logo will once again be used extensively through the six matches in Round 5 of the competition on the weekend of 30 November – 1 December, when the matches between Bath Rugby and Saracens, Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers and Harlequins v Gloucester Rugby will be shown live on BT Sport.
As part of the commitment:
- Match official shirts (pictured) will carry the special rainbow version of the Gallagher Premiership Rugby logo
- All Gallagher Premiership Rugby players will be sent Rainbow Laces and invited to wear them in the matches in Round 5
- Gallagher & Premiership Rugby volunteers will be handing out 4,500 pairs of Rainbow Laces at the weekend matches taking place at Bath Rugby, Northampton Saints, Harlequins and Exeter Chiefs
- Branding at matches to carry Rainbow Laces messaging or be turned rainbow to celebrate the weekend. This will include the flags used by assistant referees
- All Premiership Rugby’s social media accounts will have Rainbow branding.
- LEDs pitchside supporting the campaign
- The centre of the pitch at the Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers on Saturday and Harlequins v Gloucester Rugby on Sunday – which are live on BT Sport – will be emblazoned with the special ‘rainbow’ Gallagher Premiership Rugby logo
- Premiership Rugby and Gallagher – through their social media channels – will run a Rainbow Laces photographic competition with the winner receiving four tickets to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final on 20 June
- Should you wish to buy Rainbow Laces click here
The weekend will form part of Premiership Rugby’s commitment to inclusion.
Wayne Morris the Community and CSR Director at Premiership Rugby, said: “We have been a long-term supporter of the Rainbow Laces campaign – since 2014 - and are delighted to join again with Gallagher and BT Sport as part of our inclusion work.
“Our aim is to be the most welcoming league in the world to fans of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and circumstances and we are committed to ensuring that rugby continues to be everyone’s game.
“We welcome and celebrate diversity, and we strive to make our competitions and activities available and enjoyable to as many people as possible in whatever capacity they wish.”
Premiership Rugby is also calling on fans and players across the country to get involved in the campaign this year by buying their own laces and wearing them this week and to matches at the weekend.
“We want to encourage people to take action, whether that’s buying and wearing Rainbow Laces; getting their friends, family, work, or sport team to Come Out Active and raise funds for LGBT equality; or by calling for an end to the discrimination LGBT people face in sport,” Morris added.
“By getting together to wear Rainbow Laces we are able to set a strong example to fans, players, club staff and rivals, in the biggest ever display of support for LGBT people in sport.”
Jonathan Turner, CEO of Gallagher’s UK underwriting operation and Chair of the Inclusion & Diversity Committee at Gallagher, said:
“Whether it’s a workplace, rugby field or sports stadium, everyone should feel welcome and confident in being able to be themselves, and as a large employer we are wholly committed to championing the positive power of inclusion and diversity.
“To promote and celebrate inclusion is to understand and value each other’s differences. We like to think it’s not about how we are different from one another, but how we are different like one another.
“Yet Stonewall’s figures reveal that 43% of LGBT people still feel sporting events aren’t a welcoming space for LGBT people, which underlines just how important awareness-raising campaigns like Rainbow Laces are."