18 May 2009

Well it’s out! For a few months we have been sitting on the news that UKFast are officially the main sponsors of Sale Sharks Premier rugby club.

So why a sport sponsorship deal?

It was not an easy decision spending millions of pounds of a hard earned marketing budget in one go, with the recession still firmly gripping society however I felt it important to take the opportunity and be decisive. Its a 3 year deal and when an opportunity as large as this comes up, in my opinion you grab it with both hands.

It is also important to look beyond the economic downturn. The credit crunch will not last forever and it is important to stand by what you believe in. For those fans who go to all the home games, you will know that UKFast gets a mention every time Charlie Hodgson scores. A few seasons back, he injured himself and although we were offered a replacement player, we stuck with Charlie. He came back, stronger, fitter and in my opinion is one of the greatest fly-halves in today’s tough game.

So when McAfee wavered, I made sure we had a window where we were able to negotiate without interruption.

I have had a few chats with Brian Kennedy, and he is grateful for the support and for the fact that there are others in the Manchester and Northwest business community who understand and believe in what the Sharks are doing.

It is the work the Sharks do team building in schools and with kids which sealed it for us. It is so easy to disengage and get transfixed on your financial goals and loose site of what is really important. Gail and I put as much emphasis on hitting personal goals as we do the financial ones, and this had been born from a discussion a decade ago, when First Software were on the shirts “one day, we’ll be main sponsors.”

10 years on, the Sharks, UKFast partnership is more than a logo on a shirt. It gives us an opportunity to say thank you to Manchester and the surrounding community. It is the fun part of being an entrepreneur which enables us to do something as exiting as this.

Just cant wait for the season to start now!

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