As Liverpool and Real Madrid prepare for a potentially classic UEFA Champions League Final in Kiev tomorrow night, there is another football story thriving in Ukraine which is having a significant effect on the wider society. Shoot the Company travelled to Ivano-Frakivsk to meet former human-rights lawyer Oleksandr Fomichov, who runs the League of Tolerance charity which uses football to promote inclusion and to teach people about shared values with the aim of improving the lives of the community around him. With all eyes on Ukraine this weekend, there’s no better time to get the unifying message of League of Tolerance to the wider world.

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This Is Me

Shoot the Company have teamed up with businesses across the north-west of the UK to launch ‘This is Me’ in the region, the first time the mental health awareness campaign has launched outside the capital. Manchester Airports Group, PWC, Sellafield, Barclays and United Utilities, along with football clubs and charities, have all collaborated to demonstrate to their employees that it is important to be open about mental health and to end the stigma of talking about it in the workplace. 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year and by 2030 the estimated cost of staff mental health related issues is set to rise to ¬£32.7 billion. Get talking people!

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Betfair and FC Barcelona

Whisper it quietly (Is there any other way of whispering?) but FC Barcelona, BetFair and Shoot the Company joined forces recently to surprise some super-fans by inviting them to a virtual training day at the training ground. Philippe Coutinho, Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Marc-Andre ter Stegen were all on hand to help fool the fans, who thought they were only there to help test some new VR technology. With Barca claiming their 25th La Liga title this season these fans don’t really need VR to simulate success. Try supporting Southampton – pass the goggles!

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#EQUALGAME – Holland

What a pleasure to spend a few days in the Netherlands filming with larger-than-life character Jules Rasoelbaks and FC Dordrecht for our latest documentary in UEFA’s EqualGame campaign. After several spells in prison (Spoiler alert!) Jules’s story of redemption is a remarkable tale of an individual getting their life back on track through the power of faith and football and how he and FC Dordrecht are now inspiring young people headed down a similar path of crime to reintegrate into society.

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Spring Update

Here’s a shot of multiple Pauls with his beloved Alexa mini making the most of the afternoon light in a sports hall in Holland. We might need even more Pauls soon as 2018 is shaping up to be one of the busiest years ever for Shoot the Company. We’re currently filming in Botswana and have shoots in New York, Chennai, Singapore, Lyon and the Ukraine in the next three weeks. We’ll be spending a lot of our summer filming in Russia and will keep you posted about that project over the coming months. Right, we’re off to check the expiry date on our passports.

International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s day everyone! To celebrate, all of the wonderful women who work at Shoot the Company received a gift on their desk this morning and we also had the pleasure of filming with one of our most inspiring female clients, Ann Cairns, President, International Markets at Mastercard. Ann was keen to discuss topics such as gender pay equity, the empowerment of women and girls and everyone being judged on their contribution rather than their gender. We’re 50/50 female/male employees at Shoot the Company and in terms of their contribution to office tea-making, the males win hands down.