Microsoft and The FA have announced that Xbox will be the official gaming partner of the England football teams. This includes the men’s national team, the women’s national team, and the England esports team. The partnership has been formed to promote inclusivity both in football and in gaming, and to create safe and welcoming places to all people regardless of gender, sexual identity, ethnicity, ability, religious beliefs, and age. The partnership will use the slogan ‘When Everyone Plays, We All Win’.
“In The FA we see a tremendous organization which has the same drive and ambition to empower people as we do at Xbox,” said director of Xbox global partnerships Marcos Waltenberg.
FA commercial and marketing director Kathryn Swarbrick said, ‘When Everyone Plays, We All Win’ is a message that rings true of what we strive to achieve at The FA and we hope that our inspirational national teams can bring great value to Xbox.”
Not many details have been released about what kind of campaigns will be run, nor the activities Microsoft and the FA will promote through the partnership, but more details are expected soon. The partnership has been revealed just before a couple of weeks of international matches which will see the England’s men’s team face Hungary, Andorra and Poland. The England women’s team will be facing North Macedonia and Luxembourg towards the end of September.
Both football and the games industry has had to deal with a number of issues where some people have engaged in abusive behaviour. This includes racism towards football players following the Euro’s as well as high profile instances of physical and sexual abuse within the games industry. With this partnership it is clear that the FA and Microsoft has intent to push this behaviour out, though it is not likely to be an easy task.