In October the first-ever North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards will take place and Wirral-based organiser Drew Cockton has secured Liverpool FC as headline sponsor. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool FC has agreed to be the headline sponsor for the first-ever North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards.
Launched by Wirral fragrance entrepreneur Drew Cockton, the awards will take place in October and will celebrate the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community in business as well as recognising their contribution to the region’s economy.
Drew, founder of Owen Drew which sells candles and other products, first revealed his plan for the awards in March this years. He said at that time: “After such an incredibly difficult 12 months in business, I decided to create these awards to celebrate the achievements of our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters.
“We have been overwhelmed with positive feedback from people wanting to get involved and sponsor. Unfortunately, too many businesses simply offer virtue signalling without properly engaging with and supporting the community so it is fantastic to have had such a great response.”
Securing a global brand such as Liverpool FC as a sponsor is a huge boost for the event. Drew added: “I am delighted that Liverpool Football Club is leading by example when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Our city and region need this support now more than ever.”
The headline sponsorship is part of the club’s city Pride celebrations throughout July, which also include: an inclusive football tournament, Pride-themed sessions in 40 local schools, participation in LCR Pride Foundation’s virtual Pride march.
Rishi Jain, senior ED&I manager at Liverpool FC, said: “It’s so important for us as a club through our Red Together work to promote equality, diversity and inclusion across everything that we do.
“Having the opportunity to demonstrate our ongoing support of the LGBT+ community and acknowledge their enormous contribution to our region is fantastic and we are very much looking forward to joining other businesses to celebrate.”
It has been a busy few months for Drew. In May he appeared on the BBC TV show, Dragons Den, where one of the Dragons, retail magnate Touker Suleyman, offered a £50,000 investment into Owen Drew for a 30% equity stake. Earlier this month the business added French wine to its product range.