03 July 2012
The Economic Development Department (EDD) is the new principal sponsor of Jersey Rugby Club for the 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 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 progressed through the national rugby leagues over the past few years. Playing in the Championship this season, the second tier of English rugby, the team will compete against established clubs like 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 2 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 2 of the team’s leading locally born players as Jersey Ambassadors. These are former Sports Personality of the Year, Nick Trower, and John Brennan.
The Minister for Economic Development, Senator Alan Maclean, said the sponsorship deal provides an excellent business opportunity because the teams that Jersey Rugby Club are playing this season have huge, loyal fan bases, many of whom have 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 more media coverage. 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 Tourism's current strategy includes event-led tourism and the 16 home matches during the 2012 / 2013 season provide 16 'events' for hoteliers and the rest of the industry to focus on between October and April, which are traditionally difficult months for the hospitality industry.
Senator Maclean said “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 to the UK for an away game, jersey.com will be guaranteed exposure to all the fans watching the games.”
Jersey Rugby Club’s first match of the season is a pre-match friendly against Premiership side Leicester Tigers on Saturday 11 August. The club’s first league game will be against the Cornish Pirates, at home, on Saturday 1 September, followed by an away match against Leeds on 8 September.