Way back at the start of this year, we announced our new three-and-a-half-year partnership with the Premier League with the promise that we’d bring you, the fans, closer to the action than ever before.

In the time since we released our ‘Where Everyone Plays’ ad, which starred real-life fans from all of the Premier League’s 20 clubs; we took the Premier League trophy up and down the country on an unforgettable road trip; and we offered you the chance to win the ultimate fan upgrade. But we know that football doesn’t begin and end with the Premier League – far from it.

‘Football gave me everything’

Football is why you stayed out later than you were allowed to; it’s a kickabout with your mates, and a way to make new ones. For many it’s how they managed to avoid trouble. Former England international, Jermaine Jenas, is testament to that: “Football gave me everything when I was young – it took me away from anything bad and put a smile on my face,” says Jenas.

But going out and playing football today isn’t as easy as it should be. 50% of young people in the UK say that it’s difficult to play football in their local community because of restrictions on outside space or a lack of coaching staff. That’s a huge number of people missing out – not just on a budding footballing career, but on all the benefits football can bring beyond the sport.

This is why Coca-Cola, alongside our long-term partner, sports charity StreetGames, is launching the ‘Ball Games Allowed’ initiative. This new campaign, which is fronted by Jenas, will see us commit our efforts to providing young people across the UK with regular access to football coaches and pitches.

To launch the ‘Ball Games Allowed’ initiative we have two new videos starring Jenas and young Streetgames beneficiaries, one focusing on the amazing work done by local football coaches and the other on the impact football pitches have on local communities. Both films, however, capture the football legend Jenas shining a light on this widespread infrastructural issue within football, all while meeting aspiring young players and sharing a mutual love for the game.

But that’s enough from us, check out the ‘Coaches’ film for yourself below:

“It’s great to see StreetGames and Coca-Cola tackling this head on,” says Jenas. “They are actively going out there with the aim to create more safe spaces for young adults to play football and train more coaches, who ultimately act as role models to aspiring football players.”

But there’s one condition to this new campaign: we need your help to make it all possible. Coca-Cola has pledged £200,000 to ‘Ball Games Allowed’ to help improve access to pitches and coaches across the country, and we need you to help us find the most deserving local communities to benefit.

On-pack, on-pitch

At the centre of all this is our new multi-pack promotion across Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola zero sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta, Oasis, Sprite and Dr Pepper (including zero variants) hitting stores this summer. The eight-week promotion, which lasts until 1st September, will see hundreds of tickets to Premier League matches in the upcoming 2019/20 season go up for grabs.

Upon visiting the competition’s entry page, entrants will be able to choose to fund ‘Coaches’ to help increase training courses or ‘Pitches’ to unlock access to more spaces for communities to play football.

Deciding between the two isn’t easy. But, of course, we’ve handily prepared the two films to make the decision a little easier – or not. Nonetheless, take a look at the ‘Pitches’ film, starring Jermaine Jenas, below.

Today we’re only a few short weeks into the ‘Ball Games Allowed’ campaign, but StreetGames CEO, Jane Ashworth, can already see the impact it will have: “‘Ball Games Allowed’ will enable us to open up access to facilities in 20 communities, for hundreds of young people where the need is greatest and train over 300 coaches working in our most disadvantaged neighbourhoods,” she says.

So, keep an eye out for our new on-pack in stores this summer! Voting won’t just help to benefit your local community, you could land yourself free tickets to see your favourite Premier League team in action!

Want to hear more about ‘Where Everyone Plays’? Visit our Premier League hub for all the info!