In countries with smoke-free legislation applying to public spaces such as sports stadia, it is common to have large numbers of fans finishing off their ‘last cigarette’ before passing through the turnstiles.
With the high number of male fans in routine and manual worker jobs attending matches, and the prevalence of smokers within this group, sports clubs and their stadia are in a perfect position to harness the power of their team badge to help people who want to quit smoking access the right services.
Smokefree Squad is a proven smoking cessation campaign for use by professional sports clubs across football, rugby and cricket that trains stadium stewards and community staff in stop smoking ‘brief intervention’ techniques.
Whether working on a matchday or operating within the community, the training provides staff with the knowledge and skills to engage fans and members of the local community with simple advice on the health and financial benefits of stopping smoking and the availability of free support from stop smoking services.
In addition to brief intervention training for stewards, the campaign is supported with a range of social marketing materials that reflect your club’s identity and communication tools to boost the profile of the campaign.
The social marketing materials include posters, ‘Top Trumps’ style player cards, fixture lists, steward apparel as well as pop-up stands and gazebos.
Big screen content, website and social media content has also been developed to access the new generation of ‘digital native’ fans and signpost them directly into smoking cessation services.
The programme has successfully engaged football, rugby and cricket fans at sports fixtures, referring them into local and national stop smoking services.
Given the UK government’s ambition to create a smokefree society by 2030, innovative programmes accessing hard-to-reach populations will be vital in reducing smoking prevalence.
Smokefree Squad is perfect for clubs wanting to support wider stop smoking campaigns such as ‘Stoptober’ (October), ‘New Year, New You’ (January) and ‘National No Smoking Day’ (March).