Sky and Kick It Out have partnered with the University of Liverpool Management School to launch the Kick It Out Scholarship Programme.
The scholarships will be targeted at Black and other under-represented ethnic minorities in the UK applying for the 2022 Football Industries MBA qualification, which is a one-year course starting in September next year.
As well as providing complete funding for four student places on the course, Sky will pair the scholars with prominent mentors in the football industry and Sky’s Diversity Advisory Council.
Sky Sports and Kick It Out will also use their extensive networks in the football industries to help accelerate the most talented individuals into jobs at senior leadership level and help to improve diverse representation at senior level.
Tony Burnett, Kick It Out CEO, said: “Football needs institutional change if it is to become a sport and an industry that is truly equal and inclusive.
“Representation at the senior level is an essential part of this change, as it creates an environment where ideas are varied, perspectives are diverse, and everyone feels valued.
“Alongside Sky, we are excited to launch this scholarship and develop a new generation of leaders who can drive progressive change in football.”
Denise Peart, Chief Talent, and Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Sky said: “I am delighted that our partnership with Kick it Out continues to go from strength to strength as we build the talent pipeline for the future of football.
“Sky has made a commitment to be a force for positive change and the Kick It Out Scholarship – the first of its kind – is yet another indication that our commitment to diversity and inclusion goes beyond the pitch into the footballing business.”
Professor Stephen A. Woods, Associate Dean MBA Programmes at University of Liverpool Management School, said: “We are thrilled to be working together with Sky and Kick It Out to introduce this scholarship programme, which has great potential to make a positive difference to the future business of football.
“We are especially looking forward to working with the students when they join our Football Industries MBA programme, to help make their learning experience transformative.”
In December 2020 Sky committed Kick It Out £3m over three years, in a mix of cash and value in kind support, with Sky Sports pledging to use its powerful voice, extensive reach, and established channels to support the organisation that has been at the forefront of the fight against discrimination and the drive for inclusion in football.
In addition to using its editorial reach, voice, and platforms to campaign for change, Sky works on a series of initiatives with Kick It Out, focusing on transparency reporting in football, education in schools including The Edit which aims to improve media and digital literacy among more than 30,000 school children, and supporting talent into the industry.
As part of Sky’s investment in supporting talent Kick It Out highlighted the need to gain more off-field representation and a particular need in the most senior positions in the football business. This MBA scholarship is one strategy Sky is supporting Kick It Out with in addressing this challenge.
Sky’s partnership with Kick It Out is part of a wider commitment made by Sky. In June 2020 Sky made a series of commitments to help tackle racial injustice. With a £10m investment each year for three years, Sky also pledged to:
- Improve Black and minority ethnic representation at all levels
- Make a difference in communities impacted by racism
- Use the power of Sky’s voice and platform to highlight racial injustice
For more information on the Kick It Out Scholarship please visit the University of Liverpool website here.