Blackburn Rovers FC has announced a unique charity of the year partnership with The Prince's Trust for the upcoming 2011-12 football season.
The partnership will see Rovers donate the branding space on its famous shirts to the charity instead of selling the space to a sponsor.
The club, which has a history of running Prince's Trust programmes for disadvantaged young people in the area, has committed to fundraising for the charity throughout the season in addition to the pro bono shirt contribution.
Simon Williams, head of commercial and marketing at BRFC, said:
"The club has enjoyed a strong and productive relationship with The Prince's Trust since 2005 and this agreement takes that relationship onto another level. The exposure The Prince's Trust will obtain as our shirt partner will greatly increase the level of awareness for the charity and hopefully encourage fundraising for the fantastic work they do to with young people."
The Prince's Trust has a long history of harnessing the power and passion of football to bring about positive change. Through its partnership with the Premier League and Professional Footballers Association The Trust has helped over 15,000 young people through football since 1997, working with over 60 Premier League and Football League Clubs to deliver a range of programmes that have helped three in four young people in to work, training or education.
It is hoped that money raised through the Charity of the Year partnership will help provide more Prince's Trust programmes in Blackburn over the coming year.
Paul Brown, Marketing Director of The Prince's Trust, said:
"The Prince's Trust is really pleased to have been selected as Blackburn Rovers Charity of the Year in a move which will build on our considerable experience of working with young people through football. We see this as a brilliant opportunity to reach out, engage and motivate the most disadvantaged young people in the community and help us change even more young lives."
Balaji Rao, MD of Venky's India Ltd, owners of Blackburn Rovers FC, said:
"We are absolutely delighted to be able to support The Prince's Trust in such a visible way, particularly at this challenging time for young people in terms of unemployment and limited opportunities. Helping young people is very much at the forefront of our community work in India and this partnership is a perfect way for us to support charities and worthy causes through football over here."
Rovers decided to reject some commercial sponsorship offers in order to grasp the special partnership opportunity.