The EFL has announced a new three-year partnership with eBay - which will celebrate the businesses powering local communities around all 72 EFL clubs.
Through the launch of ‘Small Businesses United’, the partnership will see eBay donate advertising space at EFL grounds to the small businesses at the heart of their marketplace.
Showing the power of community, 85% of EFL clubs have been supported by a small, local business over the past year, despite financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic.
EFL clubs were instrumental in communities during the pandemic, delivering over 1.4 million food parcels, more than 179,000 items of PPE, 22,000 prescriptions and donating over 2,100 laptops and tablets to people facing technology poverty.
EFL club staff and players have had in excess of 527,000 outgoing and incoming conversations with supporters and vulnerable people.
Although the EFL lost £250m when football went behind closed doors, the end of lockdown has seen a huge surge in interest in attending games.
‘Small Businesses United’ will allow eBay sellers to further connect with their local EFL clubs, and see their own brand under the bright stadium lights, now they are back watching their team.
Ben Wright, chief commercial officer of the EFL, said: “The long-term relationship we have agreed with eBay is an exciting addition to the EFL portfolio of official partners, and highlights how we want to support the local businesses who have in turn done so much to help our clubs.
“We are really pleased to be able to support growing businesses through all 72 EFL clubs and the ‘Small Businesses United’ initiative.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for supporters of our clubs to see their own businesses advertised in EFL stadia nationwide, and demonstrates again how the EFL can support positive and impactful local community activation on a national scale.”
Rob Hattrell, SVP and head of eBay Europe, said: “eBay UK and the EFL know local business and football clubs are the backbone of our communities, sharing a history of mutual support that we are so excited to celebrate with 'Small Businesses United'.
“After the financial trials of the pandemic, it is more important than ever for eBay to continue to shine a spotlight on the power of small business, and to champion the sport we know and love.
“The excitement surrounding English football is at a real high this year, and we are seeing that replicated on eBay with huge demand for the equipment needed for the grassroots game.
“This is why we will be looking to extend our support beyond the professional clubs, to further boost local communities - all thanks to the power of eBay’s 300,000 small business sellers.”
Former professional footballer, and television presenter, Dion Dublin commented: “As an ex-footballer, and someone who has run my own businesses, I think it is incredibly important that football clubs work closely with businesses in their surroundings.
“This partnership between the EFL and eBay will help many small businesses to grow in size and will bring a real sense of community to the 72 clubs involved.”
‘Small Businesses United’ launches ahead of the start of the 2021/22 season, which begins as AFC Bournemouth host West Bromwich Albion in Friday night’s Sky Bet Championship curtain-raiser.
All EFL clubs and competitions will be involved in the initiative until the end of the 2023/24 campaign.
To visit City's official eBay store, and get your hands on authentic merchandise, please CLICK HERE.