32Red has today announced a major reinvestment into the successful men’s mental health programme Team Talk as part of its ongoing commitment to reinvent football sponsorship so it benefits the whole community.

After a successful year following significant funding in 2019, the renewed agreement will see the online gambling platform - which sponsors three Championship clubs and Rangers in the Scottish Premiership – invest tens of thousands of pounds in continuing to help develop the Team Talk programme run by Derby County Community Trust.

Team Talk uses the local club as a mechanism to engage with men about their mental health. In its first full year, it ran across four hubs before switching to virtual delivery throughout lockdown.

In just 12 months, 98% of men said it had improved their mental health and that they were proud to be part of the group. All participants surveyed said they would encourage others to join.

Derby County striker Martyn Waghorn said: “The efforts of the Team Talk project haven’t gone unnoticed at Derby County. I know the struggles myself having been there in the past and a little work to help others goes a long way. Team Talk is doing a fantastic job.”

The funding also accounts for a new research project in partnership with the University of Derby which looks increase our understanding of what is effective in the Team Talk programme and how the programme can grow and develop, particularly in the light of the challenges of lockdown and increased anxieties around COVID-19. The science questions will be around sustainability and growth and the mechanisms that are associated with each of these.

The renewed investment for a second year from is the core part of Kindred Group – 32Red’s parent company – commitment to be the sponsor of choice for sporting organisations and their communities. Over the last 18 months, the betting and gaming firm has reinvented sponsorship so that it benefits places and communities - with the betting company also sponsoring boxing, horse racing and darts in the UK.

Neil Banbury, 32Red’s General Manager, said: “The renewed investment we are announcing today means Derby County Community Trust can continue some of the fantastic work and results we saw from the first year of our partnership. Using the unique relationship supporters have with their local club, we hope to reach many more men with the expanded mental health support services who would otherwise be suffering in silence.

“Our partnership with Derby County Community Trust, and the extended relationship with Derby County Football Club, shows our deep commitment to developing a new model for football club sponsorship. Kindred Group is leading the way in becoming a sponsor of choice for a club and its community.

“We have a keen commitment to all the clubs we work with – underpinned by our group sustainability strategy. This agreement is a natural progression and will mean that a large percentage of the sum we are spending will go directly to helping those that need it most.”

Mind’s June 2020 study showed that more than half of adults (60%) have said their mental health got worse during lockdown. Of their survey, only 24% were male, showing the importance of supporting male mental health.

Head of Community at Derby County Community Trust, Simon Carnall, said: “Following a successful first year, we are delighted that 32Red has recommitted to this project. It is the first time Derby County’s main sponsor has made such a big investment in the local community. This renewal of our partnership means we can now expand the programme and reach many more men with mental health problems across the community over the coming year.

“At a time when the coronavirus pandemic is making things even harder for men, this is a timely project, especially based on the fact we are now into a second lockdown.”

As part of their ongoing commitment to benefiting both clubs and communities, 32Red will be announcing similar projects on men’s mental health as part of their commitment to be a positive sponsor for football clubs and their communities in the coming weeks.

To find out more about the Team Talk project please see derbycountycommunitytrust.com