BT launches The Supporters Club

BT sets up sporting charity and commits to donate£1.5 million pounds 

BT today announced an exciting new way for customers to help disadvantaged young people as it launched The Supporters Club. 

BT Sport customers will be able to make a recurring monthly donation of £1, £3 or £5 to The Supporters Club via their BT bill. The money will be spent by Comic Relief on providing coaches, mentors and teachers for disadvantaged young people in the UK and abroad. 

BT will match pound for pound the amount donated, up to £1 million, as well as donating another £500,000 through various initiatives.  All of the money pledged for The Supporters Club will be spent to change the lives of young people here in the UK and some of the world’s poorest countries.  It will fund the coaches, mentors and teachers that young people so desperately need to help them achieve their goals in life.  It’s all about supporting the supporters.  BT is also covering the running costs of the fund as well as creating TV programming which will be broadcast on BT Sport to show customers how their donations are being spent. 

John Petter, managing director BT Retail Consumer, said: “We believe that The Supporters Club is a great way to unite BT and sporting clubs and bodies around an important cause to help young, disadvantaged people. 

Sport can be a powerful force for good in society and we think that the launch of BT Sport gives us an opportunity to raise extra funds which will make a huge difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people and help them to reach their goals. We are thrilled that a charity with the credibility and track record of Comic Relief will be managing the fund.” 

BT has worked with Comic Relief since 1985, providing telephony, call centres, network management, online support and thousands of volunteers, enabling the charity to take millions of pounds in pledges during telethons. BT has also sponsored and promoted the BT Sport Relief Challenges. 

Kevin Cahill, chief executive of Comic Relief, said: “We know that sport really does have the power to change lives, and The Supporters Club is a fantastic opportunity to do just that. We are confident our experience and knowledge in grant making will ensure the money raised works as hard as possible to support young people who need to turn their lives around, both here at home in the UK and across some of the world’s poorest countries.” 

Lawrence Dallaglio, BT Sport ambassador, said "I am delighted that BT is using the platform of BT Sport to invest into projects that use sport to engage and improve the lives of young people from different backgrounds. Initiatives like The Supporters Club are vital to charity, as not only do they generate critical funding, but also help to highlight the importance of their work to the wider public." 

BT Sport customers will be able to set up their donation to The Supporters Club from June 22, either by calling BT or signing up online (www.thesupportersclub.org). The donation will then be added to their regular BT bill. 

BT Sport will launch in the summer, offering 38 exclusively live football matches from the Barclays Premier League, including 18 of the top pick games. There will also be live action from the FA Cup, Europa League, Scottish Premier League, as well as top tier live matches from Germany, Italy, France, Australia and the USA.

The channels will also show 69 live rugby union games from the Aviva Premiership, Moto GP, WTA women’s tennis and action from the UFC.