EPIC deepens sports links with PNE Man of the Match and Wembley Summit

EPIC Risk Management doubled down on its sports engagement this week, announcing a continuation of its collaboration with Preston North End and a new Summit at Wembley Stadium.

The arrangement with PNE will see EPIC’s Man of the Match Award return to the EFL Championship club, which will deliver financial benefit to a range of charities over the course of the 2022/23 season.

This will see the club’s star player at every competitive first team home fixture at Deepdale gain the ability to donate £500 to a charitable cause they relate to.

Adrian Ward, EPIC’s Marketing Communications Manager, who will take on the announcer’s role on match days, said: It’s a pleasure for EPIC Risk Management to increase our involvement with Preston North End and become the new Man of the Match sponsor, furthering a long-standing connection with the club and supporting some very worthy causes in the process.

“It’s in keeping with our company ethos to be benevolent wherever we can. We’re currently part of the B1G1 movement, which sees us donate to global causes on a sliding scale every time we enjoy a business success, and we’ve also been sponsors of other professional, grassroots and charitable sports and events.”

As part of its efforts in football, the gambling harm minimisation consultancy visits every EFL club once a season under the terms of a five-year agreement, whilst CEO Paul Buck is a lifeline fan of PNE. 

Ben Rhodes, PNE Club Secretary, remarked: “It’s absolutely fantastic to have the man of the match award return – it’s part of the matchday experience for fans up and down the country. To partner with EPIC Risk Management on this – with what I think is a unique prize – is something that’s great to talk about. 

“The fact that we’re going to be giving a charitable donation for every award winner and the player is going to be able to support charities that they personally want to back is something that I’ve not seen anywhere else. It’s a great partnership and something that we’re looking forward to re-launching.”

In a second development, EPIC has announced that it will co-present the Gambling Harm Prevention in Sport Summit at England’s national football ground, Wembley Stadium.

The event will take place on 5 October and will be presented alongside the UCFB’s Global Institute of Sport (GIS), which EPIC partnered with this week to examine the impacts of gambling harm on sports development. 

John Millington, EPIC Senior Director, observed that academic studies have revealed that athletes are ‘up to four times more likely’ to suffer from gambling related harm.

“Clearly, education and prevention work for those who regularly participate in competitive sport is hugely important in tackling this issue,” he explained. “This summit is designed to bring in experts across the professional sport eco-system to delve into this issue and look at ways of protecting those most vulnerable from gambling harm.

“GIS are the perfect partner to help undertake research and mine data on this topic and have joined forces with us to ensure that we can ensure that the right people can continue to receive it, contribute to it, and act upon it.

“They will be making a vital contribution to the Pro Sport Advisory Board in the longer term via their new status as our Education Partner and we’re delighted that their iconic base at Wembley Stadium will be the perfect setting for some important discussions to take place among the people who can enact genuine change for the better on this issue.”

Areas of interest to the partners include sharing of expertise, research, industry knowledge and insight, talent pool and staff development, whilst over 100 ‘key decision makers’ have been confirmed as attendees at the event, alongside lived experience speakers.

These will include player protection and welfare experts from the sports, esports and gambling sectors, which will have the opportunity to outline the measures they have taken to reduce gambling-related harm.

Additionally, EPIC will present findings from its Pro Sports Advisory Board, and representatives from the audience – from a range of leagues, teams and governing bodies – will be able to provide feedback to influence the board’s future direction via panel discussions and round-table groups. 

“We’re delighted to have partnered with EPIC Risk Management to deliver the Gambling Harm Prevention in Sport Summit at our iconic Wembley stadium campus,” added Sharona Friedman, GIS President. 

“The Global Institute of Sport wants to help address some of the key issues across sport and we look forward to working with EPIC Risk Management on facilitating this discussion as well as working to create future recommendations of best practice.

“Bringing together leaders from across the sports industry to all put forward insight and experiences related to the issues around gambling related harm is the first step in exploring how we can best work towards reducing the risks associated.”

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