West Ham United have announced a historic partnership with leading global forex broker Alpari. The agreement will see the association of Alpari companies worldwide become the club's new Principal Sponsor - including the Alpari logo on the front of the famous claret and blue shirt - from the start of the 2013/14 season.
West Ham United and Alpari marked the signing of the new partnership with a live event on the Alpari trading floor in London. Sam Allardyce and Kevin Nolan, Matt Jarvis and Joe Cole competed against each other in a currency trading contest that brought the worlds of football and online trading together.
This three-year, multimillion-pound deal will see "Alpari FX Trading" feature on West Ham United's team kit and apparel. This adds to the existing naming rights of the Alpari Stand and branding at the Boleyn Ground. Alpari has been a loyal supporter of West Ham United, having partnered with the club initially as an official sponsor in 2011, when they were battling their way back into the Barclays Premier League.
The new agreement comes at a hugely exciting time for the east London side. Having returned to the Barclays Premier League this season, they have played their last eleven games in front of sell-out crowds. The club's global profile was further enhanced when it was named highest-ranked bidder in the process to find an anchor concessionaire for London's iconic Olympic Stadium on 6 December 2012.
Karren Brady, Vice Chairman, West Ham United, said: "We are enthused and excited to enter into this new partnership with Alpari. This landmark deal, along with a host of other significant strides forward our business has made recently, is yet further evidence of the growth we have witnessed and I can only see things getting better.
"This partnership demonstrates Alpari's belief in our vision and ambition for the club and I know they are excited about how the sponsorship can build their brand.''
West Ham United Commercial Director Barry Webber added: "A lot of hard work has gone into the completion of this Agreement and we are delighted to have stepped up our relationship with Alpari.
"We have all enjoyed working with the team at Alpari so far and we look forward to working with them to maximise this new partnership in key international territories."
At Tuesday's contest, Kevin Nolan demonstrated that he's not just an excellent captain. He remained cool when the markets heated up and won the contest with a balance of £4,457 in virtual money. Nolan said, "I've never traded currencies before and I found it quite easy to understand how the trading platform works and how you place trades. Had I traded with my money, I would have done a bit more market research and I think I wouldn't have taken such big stakes. However, even with virtual money you feel your pulse racing and it was good fun."
As a prize, Alpari will donate £5,000 in Kevin's name to West Ham United's Academy, where the money will help young talents achieve more in football.
Daniel Skowronski, Chief Executive Officer, Alpari (UK) Limited, commented: "Alpari is a leading global forex trading provider with significant growth ambitions. The Barclays Premier League is a truly global phenomenon with broadcast distribution now reaching in excess of 700 million households per season. Taking our partnership with West Ham United one stage further to Principal Sponsor was a logical step as we continue to build awareness for our products on the world stage."
Alpari will take over from SBOBET as the club's principal partner. SBOBET Executive Director Bill Mummery said: "We have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship these past four years during which SBOBET and West Ham United have each gained a heightened level of global exposure. We will remain closely linked with the Club and continue our links and support of the Bobby Moore Fund. This is an amicable parting that heralds change and exciting opportunities for both businesses. We wish all those at West Ham United with whom we have had the privilege to be involved every success for the future."