A spokesman for the Football Association describes it as a "powerful tool within society" to reach people who are often missed by more conventional promotions and awareness campaigns. "Our charity programme is driven by this," he says.
This is something its new partner Action for Children hopes to take advantage of. The children's charity joined the FA's charity scheme in January and sits alongside long-term partners such as The Bobby Moore Fund, Coaching for Hope and Street League.
Action for Children's tenure lasts until the close of the Euro 2012 football tournament in July next year. It hopes its campaigning role for neglected children will gain valuable exposure through a dedicated page in an England match programme, and articles in the FA's newsletter, which is sent to 140,000 members.
There is also a significant fund-raising dimension. A five-figure donation from last year's Community Shield match between Manchester United and Chelsea has been made to Action for Children.
In addition, there will be proceeds from auctioned signed England shirts and a fundraising event at Wembley Stadium. Action for Children beneficiaries will also become mascots at the home games of the England football team.
"Not only will we be able to raise vital funds to help the children we work with," says Andrew Harris, director of appeals and fundraising at Action for Children.
"But we will also be able to offer them once-in-a-lifetime, 'money-can't-buy' experiences. Being a match-day mascot will be a life-changing opportunity for some of our most neglected children."