BT Sport asks its supporters to #thesupportersclub for rio ferdinand testimonial

Manchester United and former England football player Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial will be shown exclusively live on BT Sport 2 at 7:00pm on Friday August 9 and BT will be using the landmark occasion to ask fans to get behind The Supporters 
Club – BT’s exciting new initiative that uses the power of sport to help change the lives of disadvantaged young people. 

Fans can show their support by following @supporters and for every tweet or retweet of #TheSupportersClub between 9am and midnight on match day, BT Sport will donate £1 to The Supporters Club, capped at £100,000*. 

All of the money pledged to The Supporters Club will be spent to change the lives of young people here in the UK and in some of the world’s poorest countries. The fund will be managed by Comic Relief and spent on projects providing coaches, mentors and teachers that young people so desperately need to help them achieve their goals in life. It is all about supporting the supporters. 

Aside from the fundraising, the testimonial promises to offer great entertainment for BT Sport viewers as many Manchester United first team regulars, a number of celebrity guests and former teammates will feature against Spanish opponents Sevilla. 

*BT Sport will donate £1 for the first 100,000 tweets or retweets of #TheSupportersClub on Friday August 9, 2013 between 9am and midnight. BT will measure tweets using mass relevance and will discount people tweeting without a profile picture, people with no followers, people using profanity, known spam/problem accounts, non-English language accounts and auto feed tools. This is part of the £500,000 commitment that BT is donating through various initiatives. 


Notes to editors 

What is The Supporters Club? 
The Supporters Club is an exciting new initiative which brings together BT, our BT Sport Partners and Comic Relief, using the power of sport to help disadvantaged young people, both here in the UK and around the world. Money raised will be used to fund the coaches, mentors and teachers that these young people need to help them to fulfil their potential. It’s all about supporting the supporters! 

How will it work? 
When customers sign up to BT Sport, they will be able to make a recurring £1, £3 or £5 monthly donation to The Supporters Club. It will be easy to set up and hassle free because BT will collect donations via customers’ BT bills. 

We believe passionately in this, so not only will we be donating £500,000 from various initiatives to kick things off, but we will also match every £1 you donate, up to the first £1million. In addition, we will cover the running costs of the fund so that 100% of donations will go straight to The Supporters Club, which will be managed by Comic Relief. 

What kind of initiatives are going to be supported? 
We will support projects both in the UK and overseas that use the power of sport to help young disadvantaged people improve their lives. For example, projects that improve enrolment and achievement in school, that reduce the levels of exploitation and abuse, that secure jobs, that improve health and wellbeing and that provide greater confidence and self-esteem – all through the power of sport. We’ll be regularly updating our website and making TV programmes, featuring projects funded by The Supporters Club money, which will be broadcast on BT Sport. 

When will you start taking donations? 
We will start taking donations on Saturday 22 June 2013. Customers who sign up to BT Sport through our call centres, online on bt.com or online on The Supporters Club website at www.thesupportersclub.org, will be invited to make a monthly recurring £1, £3 or £5 donation via their BT bill. 
People who haven’t signed up to BT Sport who wish to donate can do so through our website as well. 

Why is BT doing this? 
Business responsibility matters to BT and social responsibility is a central part of our business strategy. We see The Supporters Club as a powerful way for us to work hand in hand with our customers and our employees to make a real difference to disadvantaged young people through the power of sport. 

Will BT make a profit on The Supporters Club? 
No – none. 100% of customer donations will go straight to The Supporters Club which will be managed by Comic Relief. BT will be covering all the running costs. BT will also donate £500,000 from various initiatives to kick things off and will be matching every £1 donated up to the first £1 million. 

About BT 

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach. 

For the year ended 31 March 2013, BT Group’s reported revenue was £18,103m with reported profit before taxation of £2,315m. 

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. 

For more information, visit www.btplc.com