Last week the FA anounced their new sponsors Budweiser in a three year deal reported to be worth £8million a season. The American based brand have had success with the sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup. At the press conference at Wembley last Thursday, they stated sales increased by over 30% on the event and they see the FA Cup providing similar opportunities to interact with fans.
Global brands like Budweoiser can only strengthen the value of the competition throughot world in what is regarded by most clubs, players and supporters alike the holy grail of the English game. Gary Pallister, three times winner of the competition, who was present at the event relayed his early memories of the magic of FA Cup when at Burlington Town but it was non league Chasetown FC who took the show with their heroics in reaching the 3rd round last season where Cardiff City were the victors 3-1.
As chairman John Donnelly said "We will always be thankful to the Cardiff supporters who still travel to Chasetown when the The Bluebirds are away. We have many friend from Cardiff but this year's competition has also helped us with prize money we received as we have to keep a tight reign of the club's finances."
The prize money starts at £750 and rises to £27,000 for the Second Round (proper) winners and £67,500 for the third Round Proper winners.
George Moss, Managing Director of the Football Trade Direcory who was present at the unveiling of the new sponsors went on to say "Finance has always been tight lower down the pyramid and while the FA Cup pit the minnows against the top teams in England, it is the prize money that can make the difference between survival or not. The FA Cup provides a valuable injection of a good day out for fans and cash needed to balance the books. Talk to any club that draws the big boys on the financial impact, Exeter City comes to mind."