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Barclays becomes headline sponsor of this year’s Pride in London

Fri May 16 04:00:00 EDT 2014

Pride in London announces, on the eve of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, that Barclays has signed up to be the headline sponsor of this year’s annual festival held in the capital to champion the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.  

The agreement makes Barclays, which was again named as one of the best employers in Britain for LGBT people in this year’s Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, one of the biggest supporters of Pride in London, alongside the Mayor of London who last year confirmed major funding to support the Pride celebrations over five years. As headline sponsor Barclays will play a central role for the third year running and triple its investment in the event.

Pride in London is a week-long festival celebrating all aspects of the LGBT community that takes place in the capital from 22nd – 29th June, with the central London parade, festival in Trafalgar Square and activities in Soho taking place on Saturday 28th June. It is one of the largest annual events held in London along with the London Marathon and New Year Fireworks, and regularly attracts nearly a quarter of a million people.

London Pride

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Freedom to…’, celebrating the freedom that Londoners have fought for, enjoy, and continue to campaign for.  It will also coincide with the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York which led to the establishment of the gay liberation movement and the modern day fight for gay and lesbian rights.

This year will also see Pride in London’s first ever advertising campaign, which is set to run across London Underground and London Buses in the two weeks up to and throughout Pride Week. The campaign will highlight the diversity of the LGBT community and encourage real-time interaction in the run-up to the event in June, offering members of the public the chance to appear within the campaign.

Barclays has been a close partner of Pride in London for three years but for the first time this year will become headline sponsor. To mark the sponsorship, Barclays is set to turn a number of its cash machines along the route of the Pride parade into ‘GAYTMs’ (Gay ATMS) and introduce ‘Ping for Pride’ allowing anyone with a bank account to donate to Pride in London via the Pingit payment app.

Event-goers will also be invited to apply for contactless Barclaycard ‘bPay bands’ in advance of the festival, which they’ll be able to use on the day, and beyond, to pay for drinks and food more easily, safer, simpler and quicker than with cash.

In 2012 Barclays became the first UK bank to feature a same-sex couple in one of its adverts, when it included a gay customer couple in a TV campaign for the new Barclays personalised debit card.

Val Soranno Keating, Barclays' Global LGBT lead and CEO of Barclaycard, said:

“I’m enormously proud that for the third year in succession Barclays is supporting Pride in London, this time as headline sponsor. It’s the highlight of the LGBT calendar and a true celebration of the power and importance of diversity.

“It was 45 years ago this year that the fight for LGBT rights was born in New York. Back then it was a fight for recognition and against suppression, and whilst a huge amount has changed since then there is still much work to do in bringing about further cultural changes and challenging the status quo.

“Encouraging greater diversity within organisations is an essential driver of long-term, sustainable success and at Barclays we work hard to create a culture that enables colleagues, customers and clients to express who they are. We have a strong track record in promoting the LGBT agenda and our sponsorship of this year’s event shows just how important equality and diversity are to us.”

Michael Salter, Chair for Pride in London, commented:

“Pride in London has become one of the city’s largest annual events, boasting reported levels of consumer satisfaction equal only to the Olympic and Paralympic Games - higher than any other event supported by the Major of London - and it’s fantastic that Barclay’s are supporting the event for the third year in a row.

“The theme of this year’s event – “Freedom to…” allows people to really personalise how they choose to engage with the campaign, enabling them to highlight why freedom is important to them; Whether it’s freedom to campaign for international rights, freedom to continue changing attitudes in the UK, or simply just the freedom to kiss their partner goodbye at a bus stop without the need to self-censor.

“In 2013 we saw record numbers of supporters taking part in Pride – not just from London’s own LGBT community in the city, but with people joining from all over the UK who came to the capital to celebrate our nation’s diversity.  Research has shown that LGBT people are more inclined (52%[1]) to spend with companies that they know to be supportive of their community.

"And with our new advertising campaign, a week of live events culminating with the Pride Parade, entertainment in Trafalgar Square and Soho street parties, Pride in London offers companies a truly unique opportunity to secure incredibly strong brand presence and shows backing for diversity and equality to an audience of potentially millions of consumers.”

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:

“I am delighted to once again be supporting the Pride in London celebrations and, in the year that marriage equality came into force, committed to London remaining at the forefront of LGBT issues. With our city's Pride celebrations attracting huge crowds and people coming from across the UK and beyond, I am that thrilled that it is now attracting major corporate backers. I look forward to this year's festivities building on the success of last year and hope that many more companies will come on board for one of the biggest and best events in London's cultural calendar.”

 Notes to editors:

·         Barclays is the only employer that has been ranked in the Top 25 of the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index every year since it launched in 2006. This year it was ranked as the number two global employer; number one in Scotland and number one in Wales; and number ten nationally.

·         Barclays CEO for Europe Retail and Business Banking, Curt Hess, was named ‘Corporate Straight Ally of the Year’ at last month’s Out In The City & g3 Magazine Awards.

·         Barclays LGBT employee network ‘Spectrum’ is twelve years old this year and has over 3000 employees involved, all the way from Australia to the USA. They can be found tweeting at @barclayspectrum.

·         The Mayor of London has committed to providing funding for the Pride in London celebrations for five years. Support in 2014 encompasses the parade in central London, activities in Trafalgar Square and events in Soho on Saturday 28th June; a 'picnic in the park' on Sunday 29th June; and other activities, including a fundraising dinner and an 'Audience with…' event in the Festival Week' running up to the Pride weekend.

·         For more information on Barclays please contact Tom Foxton on 07880 184381.

·         For more information on Pride in London please contact Michael Salter on 07764 906648.

About Pride in London

Pride in London is the city’s annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and culture and consists of a week-long festival celebrating all aspects of the LGBT community.

Pride in London 2014 will take place in the capital from 22nd – 29th June, with the central London parade, festival in Trafalgar Square and activities in Soho taking place on Saturday 28th June.

Pride in London is London’s second largest annual event with levels of satisfaction equal to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – higher than any other event supported by the Mayor of London[2]

Over 15,000 people joined the Parade in 2013 with 200,000 more packing the streets of Soho all day and 65,000 people enjoying the entertainment in Trafalgar Square

[1] Source: Quadrangle Group

[2] Independent research by ICM for the Mayor of London