In 2022, we joined forces with award-winning and leading ferry company, DFDS, who joined the Kent FA family as our Adult County Cup Partner to support and embrace the grassroots game in Kent.
DFDS has a longstanding love of the game, with many of their colleagues participating in grassroots football, either as players, volunteers, or spectators. More importantly, DFDS understands the power of football to support and unite the communities in which colleagues and customers live, and it is this shared vision that makes this partnership so exciting.
We caught up with Christine Burke, Partnership Manager at DFDS.
For those who do not know about DFDS, please tell us more about the work you do.
"DFDS was founded in Copenhagen in 1866 and is northern Europe's largest integrated shipping and logistics company, employing more than 11,000 people. The Ferry Division moves freight and passengers around Europe across over 35 routes. On the English Channel, there are up to 54 sailing daily from Dover to Calais and Dunkirk with five vessels. In addition, DFDS manages the Newhaven- Dieppe route on behalf of a French owner capable of taking foot passengers."
You are the Kent FA's County Cup Partner. Why did you decide to support grassroots football in Kent?
"As a large organisation, it's important for DFDS to have local connections around the operating ports. Across all of DFDS, we work to promote inclusiveness and equal opportunities for all, which also extends out into the community to support health and wellbeing for all."
As a Kent FA partner, you provide special offers for the grassroots community. Can you tell us more about them?
"DFDS offers a discount of 10% on all crossings to Europe from Dover. These can be used for short breaks and holidays, whether that is for a winter ski break or heading for summer sun. You can find the offer here - https://www.dfds.com/en-gb/passenger-ferries/exclusive-offers/kent-fa
"DFDS also operates Duty-Free shops onboard the ships and at the ports in Dunkirk and Calais – be sure to take advantage of up to 50% savings on return to the UK. You can also take a day trip to France for as little as £39 for a car and up to 4 passengers."
Sustainability is a big part of the DFDS strategy, and you are a partner of Kent Green United. What does this mean for DFDS, and what impact are you hoping it will make in Kent?
"As a Scandinavian company, DFDS has long had a sustainability and climate policy – ultimately to be carbon neutral by 2050. The starting point has been to remove disposal plastics from our vessels, which is something everyone can do – the Green United policy has definitely embraced this. DFDS has also committed to operating carbon-neutral vessels on the English Channel by 2030 with battery-powered vessels."
What has been a partnership highlight so far?
"I loved attending the DFDS Kent County Cup finals last season. It was great to see so many families attending and enjoying a day out - the DFDS pirate hats were definitely a success! Also, the Grassroots Awards is a fantastic night celebrating the efforts of those individuals totally committed to supporting grassroots football in Kent."
The 2023/24 season is well underway. What are you looking forward to the most this season?
"We look forward to bringing more offers and integration during the coming season. DFDS colleagues enjoy the Business Sixes competition enormously, and we always have a waiting list to participate. It's great to meet up with all the people who make Kent FA the fantastic organisation it is."
DFDS is a proactive and engaged partner who is excited and enthusiastic about all things related to Kent football. From stepping in front of the camera for Cup draws, running competitions, attending Kent FA events, joining Kent Green United, providing special offers to the Kent football community, lacing up their laces to participate in the Business Sixes, to attending all the adult County Cup finals, it is a joy and privilege to work together with DFDS. Through strong collaboration and mutual dedication between DFDS and the Kent FA, our partnership continues to thrive and achieve remarkable success. And the 2023/2024 season looks to be bigger and better then ever.
Stay tuned for future updates and special offers from DFDS or visit their website to find out more.
If you would like to find out more about Kent FA's partnerships, please contact Claire Whybrew, Head of Marketing and Partnerships at Claire.Whybrew@KentFA.com