Belfast Telegraph

Premier League teams up with Cadbury to back Health For Life programme

The Premier League and Cadbury have announced a three-year partnership that will include initiatives to promote healthy lifestyles to schoolchildren.

The partnership will launch at the beginning of the 2017/18 season and follows Cadbury's sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics.

Cadbury will work with the Premier League to create new sessions for the existing community programme Health For Life, which encourages healthy lifestyles among 60,000 schoolchildren.

Cadbury brand director Francesco Vitrano said: "This is an incredibly exciting chance to bring together the Cadbury brand with the unmistakable Premier League brand.

"We can't wait to start this journey with the Premier League."

Premier League managing director Richard Masters said: "We are very pleased to be entering into a new partnership with Cadbury - one of the country's most iconic and well-known brands.

"Cadbury's popularity across the world, and our shared focus on delivering moments of joy, make this a great fit for the Premier League and we are thrilled they have chosen to work with us in what is their first ever partnership in football.

"We are really looking forward to working with Cadbury to celebrate the excitement of the competition, and on the plans we have to jointly grow and enhance their Health For Life project as part of the Premier League's wide-ranging community work."

Cadbury will join a growing number of Premier League partners and will benefit from a range of rights relating to player milestones including the Premier League's Golden Boot and Golden Glove awards.

However, health campaigners questioned the partnership, with one describing it as "little more than a marketing ploy".

National Obesity Forum spokesman Tam Fry said: "If the sponsorship meant that a host of kids would be encouraged to exercise and kick footballs to kingdom come but didn't come near a bar of chocolate the forum might regard it as money well spent.

"But since the Premier League is rich enough to do this on its own anyway, and Cadbury could be looking at a downturn in the confectionery market, we regard this as little more than a marketing ploy.

"Since children currently consume two to three times more sugar than they should we would welcome the deal only if Cadbury produced a sugar-free product."

Jennifer Rosborough, nutritionist and campaign manager at Action on Sugar, said: " Whilst we fully support initiatives geared to promoting healthy lifestyles for children, chocolate, which is laden with sugar, should be an occasional treat and not associated with healthy living.

"Companies should choose their partnerships more responsibly."

A Cadbury spokeswoman said: "W e know we have a responsibility, along with the rest of the food industry, to help address public health concerns.

"That's why we are planning significant community activity to help educate people on the role of nutrition, healthy eating and exercise.

"We will join forces with the Premier League to deliver a bespoke element of Cadbury's existing community programme Health for Life, which is currently focused on making a sustained difference to the lifestyles of 60,000 school children.

"Cadbury and Premier League will work together to create new, tailored modules focused on inspiring school pupils about healthy lifestyles.

"While we have already seen great success from the Health for Life scheme, we feel that through this partnership with the Premier League we will be able to make a bigger impact together."