Football shirts with built-in sun protection highlight mistake many make

With a mini heatwave on the horizon, new research reveals an opportunity to encourage better sun safety habits among UK football fans — with nearly a third admitting to experiencing sunburn while either actively participating in or spectating football matches, either at live events or watching screenings in pub gardens.

The research, commissioned by Kopparberg, found 59% of us do not apply sunscreen every single time we attend a live football match or visit a pub garden to watch the game.

Kopparberg has launched football jerseys with a built-in UV protection factor (UPF) of 40 and a range of SPF products to help Brits responsibly embrace sun-filled days. The range includes UV stickers that change colour to indicate when it's time to reapply sunscreen, along with SPF50 sunscreen sachets, which will be free at select pubs across the UK from this week.

The launch coincides with Kopparberg's summer-long Drink Responsibly This Summer campaign. In partnership with the UK charity Melanoma Fund, it aims to promote sun-safe lifestyles among Brits while raising awareness about the charity's important work.

Nancy Dales, Brand Manager at Kopparberg, said: “Aith sunnier days approaching, raising awareness about sun protection is important. We were surprised to learn that almost 6 out of 10 Brits neglect applying sunscreen every time they’re at a live football match or screening in a pub garden, which will be huge this summer with the EUROs. That's why we've introduced our UPF40 football jerseys and a range of SPF products as part of our ‘Drink Responsibly This Summer’ campaign. This ensures that people can stay protected and safe whilst still making the most of their summer.”

Michelle Baker, CEO of the Melanoma Fund, added: “Nearly a third of Brits believe that professional football venues lack adequate shaded areas and guidance on sun protection for spectators, indicating a significant area for improvement. This underscores the need for football to become a more 'sun-safe' sport.

“Sunburn doubles the risk of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, which is largely preventable by practising proper sun safety like seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and applying SPF30+ sunscreen. This is precisely why our partnership with Kopparberg is so important, highlighting these issues and encouraging drinkers to adopt sun-safe habits this summer.”

The football jerseys will be distributed at IF Up North in Leeds, Vodka Wodka in Glasgow, and The Heathcote & Star in London amongst other select venues, with the remainder of the product range available across various UK pubs.

Visit the page here for more tips on sun protection, curated by the Melanoma Fund.