Following independent research entitled 'Groundsmanship: Sports Vital Profession' which highlighted the urgent need for change, the IOG today announces its intention to re-brand. After a thorough selection process, the proposed new brand name and identity, unanimously backed by the Board of the IOG, will be the 'Grounds Management Association'.
The IOG is calling on members to get behind the name change to modernise and widen the appeal and status of the profession to a more diverse demographic. The new, fresh identity befits the modern day approach to the management of sports turf in the 21st Century.
An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) has been called, taking place on 2nd April at Edgbaston County Cricket Ground, where members have the opportunity to vote in person for the rebrand. Alternatively, members can also vote by post.
The new name is part of a wider re-brand, including updated branding and the new tagline - making sport possible. The rebrand is designed to provide clarity on the role of the industry, and support the IOG's current 'Grounds for Sport' campaign, which seeks to highlight how vital grounds management is to sport nationwide.
The rebrand comes following the organisation's 2019 report 'Groundsmanship - Sport's Vital Profession'. The independent research found that 40% of the industry's workforce is over 50, one in five grounds managers will be leaving their jobs within the next five years and only 1% of the current workforce is female. Furthermore, more than two thirds of community grounds volunteers are aged over 60 and almost all are over 50.
Further research, which looked at perceptions of the IOG, found that one in five thought the word 'groundsmanship' was a barrier to attracting new talent.
Following these findings, focus groups made up of current members, non-members, stakeholders, Board Directors and staff, led to the selection of Grounds Management Association.
Geoff Webb, CEO at the IOG, said: "The future success of the industry depends on us attracting more people from all backgrounds to the profession, which is why we're proposing a more modern brand and name."
"Our extensive research into perceptions of our brand and the profession more widely has shown us that it's vital we respond to the industry's needs and take the organisation in a new, forward-looking and exciting direction."
"We believe under the banner of the Grounds Management Association, we'll be better placed to promote the industry to the wider public, attract a new generation of grounds staff to the profession, and encourage more investment into the sector."
"Crucially, we cannot do this without our members' support. We urge every single member to get online and vote yes to this change to create the conditions to help us meet the challenges and expectations we face to elevate the standing, status and value of the vital role of sports turf management today. Whether a volunteer or paid professional, come to Edgbaston on 2nd April to help us take the first step on this exciting new journey."
The Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) will be held on April 2 at Edgbaston County Cricket Ground at 12pm. All members are welcome to attend, but only eligible voting members can take part in the vote. If members are unable to attend, they can vote by post (prior to the EGM). Details of how to vote will be available on the IOG website: www.iog.org