New 1st XV strip

01/08/2012

The first day of August sees the official unveiling of the Jersey Rugby Football Club's new 1st XV kit for the 2012/13 season, their first in the National Championship. The kit carries both the Jersey.com and locatejersey.com branding as part of the recently announced sponsorship agreement with the States of Jersey Economic Development Department. To be unveiled in front of one of Jersey's most iconic sites, Mont Orgueil, JRFC is gearing up to become Jersey's next big visitor attraction.

Economic Development recently announced that it was sponsoring the 1st XV team to support the marketing activities of both Jersey Tourism and Locate Jersey. Funded from the Tourism and Locate Jersey marketing budgets, plans are now being finalised to maximise the exposure Jersey will receive during the team's Championship season, to ensure as broad a reach as possible for Jersey's promotional messages.

The sponsorship is already providing an immediate and direct benefit to the tourism industry, promoting Jersey as a short break destination to club supporters of Jersey's Championship opponents. For the pre-season friendly match against Leicester Tigers more than 400 visiting supporters are already booked to visit the Island.

Jersey Toursim said, "The success of the 1st XV team has provided an exciting, new route to market Jersey as a short break destination during the shoulder months. Having prominence on the team's kit, coupled with publicity among opposition clubs, will assist greatly when targeting club supporters, many of whom might be considering a visit to Jersey to support their team. Maximising the liklihood of travel to Jersey is our priority and by driving interest to www.jersey.com/rugby, which has been specially developed to promote Jersey to visiting fans, we are confident we can, in turn, convert them to visitors. Raising Jersey's profile in this way will have a positive knock-on effect for local hotels and businesses in the critical shoulder months which predominantly make up the rugby season."

The sponsorship and branding of the kit produced by leading manufacturer Kukri is also providing an exciting marketing and audience-engagement opportunity for the inward investment division of Economic Development, Locate Jersey.

Rugby attracts an above average proportion of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders possessing the wealth and risk-profile tending to suggest that they would be interested in investing in Jersey. Via the sponsorship, and the club-to-club links that will be developed, Wayne Gallichan and his team at Locate Jersey are targeting such individuals through match-day hospitality.

The 1st XV are delighted to have secured support from their Island home. JRFC Chairman, Bill Dempsey says, "It will be fantastic to see the team go out on to the pitch wearing the Jersey name with pride. The team has worked incredibly hard for this season's promotion to the Championship. The sponsorship re-affirms Jersey Rugby Club's position at the heart of the Jersey community and reflects the confidence the Island has in the team to promote the Island's fantastic reputation as both a visitor and business destination overseas."

It promises to be an exciting season for the team in the Championship in the second tier of the English rugby pyramid featuring games against teams such as Cornish Pirates, London Scottish, Newcastle Falcons and Bristol. Jersey will also compete in the British and Irish cup against teams including Leinster 'A' from Ireland and the Welsh club, Pontypridd.

A number of Championship matches will be televised on Sky Sports, further enhancing the value of Economic Development's marketing investment. This exposure will be a first for Jersey and will give both the Jersey Tourism and Locate Jersey websites valuable profile amongst a wide-ranging audience of potential visitors.

Media coverage is also starting to appear, with Jersey's promotion to the Championship receiving excellent attention. The latest article by the Independant on Sunday correspondent, Hugh Godwin on ESPN Scrum (see www.espnscrum.com/england/rugby/story/167519.html for online version) provides one good example.

Destination sponsorship of sports clubs is not new. Well-known examples of destinations to have benefited in this way include Malta Tourism Authority's sponsorship of Sheffield United Football Club and Invest Africa, through its partnering with Sunderland AFC, who have promoted the opportunities and benefits of doing business in Africa to a global audience. - ENDS

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