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Stoke back a winner with new shirt sponsor

Football News 24/7
Stoke City Football Club were today celebrating the best of both worlds . . . after securing two lucrative sponsorship agreements which increase the backing of bet365 and extend upon one of the longest-running partnerships in football with Britannia.

The Club will go into their fifth season of Premier League football with bet365 as new shirt sponsors, while Britannia, which is part of The Co-operative Bank, will become the official Banking and Community Partner and also retain naming rights for the Britannia Stadium.

The sponsorship agreements are geared to maximising the tremendous opportunities which are available locally, nationally and globally as a direct result of the progress made by City since winning promotion to the top flight of English football in 2008.

As the world's largest online betting company, bet365 recognises the huge benefits of the Premier League's global exposure for their brand with international television coverage reaching more than 650 million homes worldwide.

The name of Britannia on City's shirts has been a familiar one for 15 years, making it the longest existing partnership in the Premier League.Through the new partnership, Britannia will now work with the Club on new initiatives in the local community to encourage, in particular, more children to get involved in sport and enjoy healthy lifestyles, a focus that fits well with the objectives of The Co-operative Group.

bet365 will be City's shirt sponsors for the next three years under the terms of the agreement with the Club, while the agreement with Britannia and The Co-operative Group is initially for two seasons as the official Banking and Community Partner of the Club.

City's Chief Executive Tony Scholes hailed the two new sponsorship agreements which have put the Club in a strong position to move forward in the future.
"This is a very exciting development for the Football Club which gives us every chance to continue progressing forward," he commented. "We have the opportunity now to work closely with two very successful local companies on two different fronts.

"The Club is already hugely indebted to the support from bet365 and its owners, the Coates family. Whilst Britannia and The Co-operative Group focus more on local and national markets, bet365, who are the largest private sector employers in the area, operate on a global basis." He added: "This agreement with bet365 means that we have been able to maximise the international element of the Club's exposure.

"We received a number of offers from potential sponsors, but bet365 were the highest bidders, arguably further underlining their commitment to the Club."

Denise Coates, Joint Chief Executive of bet365, commented: "We are delighted to have reached an agreement to become Stoke City's shirt sponsors. "It is a perfect fit for us as a Stoke-on-Trent-based company with a global reach and international markets to become shirt sponsor of our local Premier League club."This builds upon the extensive sponsorship, LED and advertising we are already committed to at many Premier League clubs and within the sports industry in general. "It also further demonstrates our long term commitment to the Club."

Britannia's focus on the community has been a notable feature of a long-running association with the Club which has proved to be hugely beneficial in so many ways.

"We are delighted to be retaining our special link with Britannia and its parent The Co-operative Group," said Scholes. "Their fantastic support over such a long period has played a big part in what has been achieved by the Club and has helped in developing such strong links with our supporters and the wider community."

Barry Tootell, Chief Executive of The Co-operative Bank, said: "Our relationship with Stoke City is very special. North Staffordshire is a key trading area for the whole of The Co-operative Group and is an area in which we have thousands of members, customers and colleagues.

"Developing our involvement with the Club's community programme is a natural fit for our Co-operative businesses because it is extremely important for us to support areas in which we trade. The Co-operative Bank Football Roadshow which we worked on with the Club this season was a huge success for us and we received excellent feedback from schools, parents and children."

He added: "The community aspect of our relationship is very important to us and I am delighted that we are about to begin this new chapter in our relationship with the Club. We look forward to working with the Football Club to develop a truly innovative programme for the local community."


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