New sponsorship agreement for JRFC05/07/2012
Jersey Rugby Club provides business development opportunity.
Jersey Rugby Club have confirmed that Jersey's Economic Development Department (EDD) is the new principle sponsor for Jersey Rugby Club for the forthcoming 2012/2013 season.
The department's initial one-year sponsorship deal will provide the club with a cash injection of £75,000. In return, the sponsorship will open up a host of business development opportunities for Jersey Tourism and Locate Jersey, which fall under EDD's responsibility and will be the title sponsors of the club.
Jersey Rugby Club is the Island's highest profile sports club and has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the national rugby leagues over the past few years. Playing in the Championship, the second tier of English rugby, this season the team will compete against large established clubs such as Leeds, Bristol and the Cornish Pirates.
As a result of the sponsorship, jersey.com and locatejersey.com will feature on all players' kit, including shirts, shorts, training and gym kit, as well as travelling clothes and cases. Branding will also be prominently displayed on two signs on the Airport road and on promotional material around the Island ahead of forthcoming matches.
In addition, Jersey Tourism and Locate Jersey will be able to use two of the team's leading locally born players as Jersey Ambassadors. These are former Sports Personality of the Year Nick Trower and John Brennan.
Minister for Economic Development, Senator Alan Maclean, explained that the sponsorship deal provided an excellent business development opportunity because the teams that Jersey Rugby Club would be playing this season had huge fan bases, many of which were loyal supporters with high disposable incomes, who travel to away games and could take advantage of direct air links to the Island.
Senator Maclean said: "The club's promotion last season was a massive achievement, raising its profile within the rugby world and guaranteeing even more media coverage both locally and in the UK. More importantly from our perspective, the promotion opens the door to a great opportunity for economic growth; in the higher leagues, people tend to be more passionate and committed to supporting their teams and therefore much more likely to travel to an away game, especially if it is to an attractive destination such as Jersey.
"The teams Jersey Rugby Club will be playing this year include Leeds, Nottingham, Doncaster, Bristol, Plymouth and Newcastle, all of which have easy access to direct flights to Jersey."
Senator Maclean added that a large component of the current Tourism strategy was event-led tourism and the 16 home matches during the 2012/2013 season provided 16 "events" for hoteliers and the rest of the industry to focus on between October to April, which traditionally are the months that tourism struggles through.
Senator Maclean said: "The fixture list has been announced and a large amount of people have already booked to come to Jersey and support their teams. We are working with hoteliers and travel operators to provide packages for these visiting supporters to make the most of this opportunity to stimulate the industry during the difficult winter months. Not only that, but every time Jersey Rugby Club travels across to the UK for an away game, jersey.com will be guaranteed exposure to all the fans watching the games."
To complement the sponsorship deal, Jersey Tourism will run a marketing programme in parallel with the rugby season.
Jersey Rugby Club's first match of the season is a pre-match friendly against Premiership side Leicester Tigers on Saturday 11th August and the club's first league game will be when they face the Cornish Pirates at home on Saturday 1st September, followed by an away match against Leeds on 8th September.