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Stormzy and Adidas announce #Merkyfc HQ: a new multi-purpose centre providing opportunities for Londoners across football, music & gaming


  • #MerkyFC HQ, which is located in Stormzy’s home borough of Croydon, will be a centre of opportunity for young people in the local community and beyond – providing facilities for them to explore their interests in football, music, and esports, as well as offering multipurpose spaces to use for everything from education to dance and fitness sessions.
  • This is the second initiative between adidas and Stormzy, following the launch of the industry-leading football careers programme, now in its second year.
  • Visit to find out more about #MerkyFC HQ

Today, adidas and Stormzy announced the opening of #MerkyFC HQ, a newly built football centre in Croydon, built to give the community much-needed facilities including a brand-new hub, housing football pitches, a state-of-the-art recording studio, a sports gaming hub and multipurpose rooms. 

#MerkyFC HQ is built on the existing football site known as Selhurst Sports Arena, a space managed by Communities First Foundation, which aims to empower communities across London through access to sport, training and employment support. adidas' investment will enable the charity to operate the multimedia rooms, changing spaces and a newly refurbished 3G pitch, enhancing facilities that were previously available to residents, and local groups.

Central to the Croydon-based #MerkyFC HQ’s purpose is the desire to increase opportunities for young people to connect in real life and explore their interests. Each bespoke space is engineered to encourage learning, playing and socialising.

The venue will continue to host year-round events and educational activities, on and off pitch, providing vital access to training and development opportunities for young people in the local community and beyond. The addition of the music studio will allow for a bolstered offering to aspiring  local artists to record as well as a space for all other multimedia uses, including Podcasts and gaming events. 

The sports gaming hub is a collaboration between #MerkyFC, adidas and EA SPORTS, bringing football off pitch, with leading facilities and streaming capabilities. The hub features a number of the latest consoles, so young people can test their skills on the latest EA SPORTS titles, including EA SPORTS FC 24 and EA SPORTS F1 23. As a means of active participation, engagement, and use of #MerkyFC HQ, EA SPORTS will also buy back 500 hours of play time split evenly between the pitch at the space and the sports gaming hub. The hours will be distributed to local organisations and projects in collaboration with Communities First, to provide open, safe and fun areas of play.

The launch of #MerkyFC HQ is the second pillar of the collaboration between adidas and Stormzy, following on from the successful launch of the #MerkyFC Careers programme, built to address racial equity in the football industry off-pitch. First established in 2022, #MerkyFC (Football Careers) aims to provide opportunities for UK Black Heritage Youth to access jobs in the football industry, which has seen over 60 individuals placed in roles across multiple brands.  The announcement of #MerkyFC HQ builds on this foundation - providing a centre for young people to create, collaborate and connect over their interests in football, music, content creation and esports.

Stormzy said, “I’m gassed that we can finally open the doors to #Merky FC HQ. Working with adidas, I’ve wanted to do this for a long, long time and now there’s a community space that everyone in the area will be able to use and benefit from. When I was growing up there was nothing like this around for young people, so it means a lot that we now have a facility like this in Croydon. Proper homegrown!

Steve Marks, Senior Director Brand Communications, adidas said: “We’re proud to launch #MerkyFC HQ the next chapter in adidas’ ongoing partnership with Stormzy. Supporting the development of spaces for the local community to connect, play and collaborate is a vital part of our ongoing drive to cultivate opportunities for young people. The centre is a space for everyone including those who enjoy taking part in football, but also for the discovery of other creative passions such as music and esports

Ewemade Orobator, Deputy Director of Operations, Community First said: “#MerkyFC HQ will offer endless possibilities in a much-needed community space. It is hugely exciting to be working alongside adidas and Stormzy to deliver a range of impactful programmes that will empower and inspire Croydon residents and beyond”

James Salmon, Senior Director Brand at EA SPORTS FC continued, “We’re thrilled to support #MerkyFC HQ in providing new opportunities for young people to grow their passion for sports on and off the pitch. We recognise that improving access to first-class facilities is a vital step in helping communities to fulfil their potential and pursue their creative interests.

The initiative is part of adidas’s ongoing commitment to helping to make sport equal, because when it comes to sport, fair play doesn’t yet exist for all. Using the power of sport to create a better future for the planet and people, the brand is focused on creating possibilities through products, programmes and partnerships. From an understanding that this can’t be done alone, adidas works collaboratively with – and supports - fellow change-makers on the journey to enabling access, equity and safety for our communities.  

Following the official opening of the space on the 2nd of May, all the facilities will be available to book via For more information on adidas Football and #MerkyFC please visit and

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