Just how does a company founded in Colorado end up sponsoring a football club in a little town in England some 4668 miles away? One, a Hemp company celebrating its 5th anniversary, the other ‘the club on the hill’ founded in 1889. In truth it was an article online, featuring ‘The greenest football club in the world’ Forest Green Rovers. An interesting read for sure but also an article that resonated with myself and the Elixinol team. The strong synergy could not be ignored and so began an eight-month journey to secure a unique partnership.
Forest Green are from a small town called Nailsworth in Gloucestershire. Most of their 130 years history has been spent in the lower regions of the footballing pyramid. All that changed nine years ago when Dale Vince became a majority shareholder and eventually chairman. Within just a few short years he transformed ‘The Green Devils’ both on and off the pitch.
An Eco-Warrior Dale made dramatic changes to make the club not only sustainable but last year win a UN ‘Climate for Change’ Award. Eco-friendly developments at the club included the installation of solar panels at its New Lawn home ground, the use of a solar-powered robot grass mower and the creation of the world’s first organic football pitch. He wanted to explore the players and clubs’ diet, moving away from the meaty & saturated fatty diets of yesteryear. So much so, in October 2015, Forest Green became the world’s first all vegan football club.
On the pitch Vince revealed Forest Green were using a player recruitment method similar to the ‘Moneyball’ model that had been initially used in baseball to sign players by using computer-generated analysis, all this led to promotion to the Football League via in 2017.
In January a meeting with the then new CEO Henry Staelens (the youngest CEO in world football) and myself resulted in the collaboration we see today. To find a professional football club that shared Elixinol’s morals was tough until the meeting with Forest Green. We both believe in ‘Green, Organic, Natural and Vegan’ Both give back through charitable works and there is a genuine family feel within both organisations. So, what makes this partnership so special. Firstly, it’s a first, Elixinol are the first Hemp/CBD company to sponsor a professional English league club.
Players will be traveling to games wearing the Elixinol ‘Green’ logo on tracksuit bottoms, polo-shirts, hoodies, gillets and jackets. The range will be available for fans to buy, further spreading the message of Hemp. Education days will be happening on a monthly basis with special fan offers through-out the season.
Together we hope we can dispel the myths and rumours surrounding Hemp and CBD. Explaining the benefits on people’s health & wellness. Developing understanding through education to further befit the lives of not only the Forest Green fans, but players and visitors alike. The future is bright, bright GREEN…