The EFL has today agreed a multi-year partnership with Unilever's Lifebuoy, the world’s No.1 hygiene soap brand, as it continues to prepare for the safe return of supporters to EFL fixtures.
The agreement sees Lifebuoy become the official hygiene partner of EFL, with activity commencing at Sunday’s 2021 Carabao Cup Final.
The competition’s showpiece final at Wembley Stadium marks an important day for the EFL and football, as 8,000 people - including 4,000 club supporters - make their way back through the turnstiles as part of the Government’s Event Research Programme.
The partnership includes branding at Sunday’s final between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City alongside perimeter signage, programme advertising and presence of Lifebuoy TVCs on big screens across all 72 EFL club grounds.
Lifebuoy will also have access to tickets for use in consumer promotions, extensive digital and social media rights and access to players over the course of a season.
Lifebuoy will further leverage the community of the EFL’s 72 clubs, with 36.6million people living within 10 miles of an EFL ground, to deliver key hand hygiene messaging and collateral to help ensure a safe return of fans to stadia across the country.
Before the pandemic, over 18 million supporters made their way through EFL turnstiles and, as the league prepares for their safe return, Lifebuoy will be providing all clubs with vouchers to purchase a range of sanitising products for fans to utilise when attending fixtures.
A commitment from Lifebuoy to support the EFL’s Utilita Kids and Girls Cup community competitions will also allow the next generation of players to continue their development under the coaching and guidance of their local EFL club.
EFL chief commercial officer, Ben Wright said: "It remains the No.1 priority of the EFL to ensure fans return in full to EFL fixtures as soon as possible, with an important step being made on Sunday when - at the Carabao Cup Final - club supporters are allowed back through our turnstiles for the first time this year as part of the Government’s Events Research Programme.
"Part of our ongoing work in this area is ensuring our stadia in England and Wales are ready to safely welcome back fans, and our newly announced partnership with Lifebuoy will provide financial support and practical assistance to all EFL clubs who are busy making preparations ahead of season 2021/22.
"I would like to thank Unilever and the Lifebouy team for their commitment at this challenging time and the EFL, alongside its membership, looks forward to working closely together as we emerge from the pandemic and a return to more familiar matchday operations."
Benoit Roger-Machart, Lifebuoy marketing and business development director, Unilever UK and Ireland, commented: "With football games being played behind closed doors for nearly a year, fans are keen to get back to attending live matches.
"We all need to play our part in keeping people safe and one of the easiest way to do this is to use hand sanitiser which is why, at a time when lower-league clubs have been facing challenges because of the pandemic, we are proud to provide free product to allow them to bring their fans back to the terraces in the safest way possible."
Lifebuoy’s partnership with EFL is in addition to the domestic partnerships announced with England Cricket and their new innovative competition, The Hundred, as well as provision of hand sanitiser at this year’s Royal Ascot meet, from 15-19 June.