The Aviva Stadium will be lit up in the rainbow colours of Pride this week as Aviva steps up again on its commitment to inclusivity.
It is a statement of serious scale and a first for the stadium. The same technology is being used as was the case when it was lit in Green for the St Patrick’s Festival but this is a statement of where we are now as a nation as opposed just to where we have come from.
The colour show will be live until this Saturday when the LED lighting has to be replaced with the LED advertising boards ahead of the Republic of Ireland’s home Euro 2020 Qualifier against Gibraltar on Monday night.
Aviva’s Dublin office on Hatch Street will also be showing its true colours with a ‘twin’ rainbow effect set to light up the ground floor for the month of June.
This colourful initiative represents one of a number of employee-led activities this year, organised and run by the Aviva Pride Network, which is Aviva’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans+ Employees and allies network group.
“Our support for Dublin Pride is close to all of our hearts,” said Aviva Chief People Officer Shaun McDonald.
“We’re delighted to share our message to be yourself and that it’s safe to dream. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the creation of Pride, so we’re thrilled to light up one of Ireland’s iconic landmarks to celebrate everything Pride stands for.”
The company brought together a number of sporting stars yesterday to give prominence to the launch.
The most important and most personal statement was from Republic of Ireland Women’s Football team captain Katie McCabe who was present with her partner in football and in life Ruesha Littlejohn.
“Growing up, my dream was to play football for Ireland. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to achieve this dream. One of my favourite things about sport is that it brings people together, it gives people a sense of belonging, and it fills them with great pride and passion.”
“Seeing the Aviva Stadium, our national arena for rugby and soccer lighting up the Dublin skyline in rainbow colours is truly amazing. I’m hoping that the men, women, boys and girls throughout Ireland will see this Aviva rainbow as a sign that they belong to a bigger community, that they are not alone, that they can be themselves and that they can achieve their dreams, no matter what.”
“I’m delighted to be supporting the Aviva Pride team and to be here for such a momentous occasion as lighting up Aviva stadium in pride colours for the very first time,” added Tommy Bowe, Irish rugby legend and Aviva ambassador.
“As a sportsperson, it’s great to see Aviva colleagues working together as a team to promote diversity and inclusion. This initiative really demonstrates the power of people coming together to encourage a culture of openness and doing so in a way that goes beyond words. I’m proud to be offering my support.”
As well as lighting up the stadium, Aviva are proud to sponsor the Dublin Pride Run, in aid of a number of Irish LGBT+ charities, and they are the headline sponsor of the 2019 Rainbow Ball, which supports the crucial work of charity Belong To Youth Services. On 29 June, over 100 Aviva colleagues, family and friends will march in the annual Dublin Pride Festival.