WALSALL FC has announced new shirt sponsorship and kit manufacturer deals. NHS Walsall have agreed a two-year shirt sponsorship deal, which will be used to promote Walsall Hospice.
Admiral will be manufacturing The Saddlers' playing and replica kits whilst Sign Specialists have agreed a one-year back-of-shirt sponsorship.
NHS Walsall have a strong partnership with Walsall FC, working closely to improve health within the borough. Already sponsors of the Txt 64446 Health Stand at the Banks's Stadium, NHS Walsall will become The Saddlers' new shirt sponsors and will use this as a vehicle to help raise the profile of Walsall Hospice.
Walsall Hospice is set to open in September 2010 and needs to raise £1.5 million to ensure the building is fully-funded and maintained. It is the hope of Walsall FC, NHS Walsall and Walsall Hospice that today's announcement will ensure that the project obtains the publicity it needs to raise this amount, which will be used to fit and equip the building as well as covering the first years running costs.
"A Hospice for Walsall has been an ambition of the Borough for more than 20 years," said Chairman of NHS Walsall, Geoff Archenhold. "With help from NHS Walsall it is expected to open next Autumn so having the name of Walsall Hospice on the football kit is an ideal reminder to everyone that the Hospice needs wide support from the whole of the borough to fund this long-desired endeavour."
Terry Robshaw, Director of Operations for Walsall Hospice, added: "What a fantastic gesture; this partnership is a huge boost to Walsall Hospice and we are really excited by the exposure and the opportunity this will give.
"Partnerships like this are the way forward for the success of the hospice. By working together we will raise the remainder of the funds required. We are now at a stage where we have enough money raised to fund three of the 12 rooms, so we are not talking about if the hospice will open we are talking about how many rooms will be functional on day one."
"This is much more than just a shirt sponsorship deal," continued Walsall FC Chief Executive, Roy Whalley. "This is a living, breathing sponsorship agreement that is a natural progression of our relationship with NHS Walsall.
"We are proud to be carrying the name of Walsall Hospice and are looking forward to working with both the hospice and NHS Walsall to ensure the ongoing success of this project."
The Saddlers will also make a donation to Walsall Hospice from each replica shirt sold.
For the first time in the club's history, The Saddlers will have a back-of-shirt sponsor.
Sign Specialists, whose company name will adorn the back of The Saddlers' playing kits next season, have built an International reputation across the complete spectrum of sign design, production, installation and maintenance. Their customers include renowned organisations such as Jaguar, Peugeot, Marston's, Subway, Lloyds Chemists, Euro Disney Paris, Ascot and Boots.
Richard Tisdale, Managing Director of the Redditch-based firm and a member of the Board of Directors at Walsall Football Club, expressed his delight at today's sponsorship agreement. "Sign Specialists are proud to sponsor Walsall Football Club," he said. "The company's, and indeed my affiliation with the club dates back many years.
"We have supported the club in many ways over the years from being main shirt sponsors to supporting the club's Community Programme and donating the Banks's Stadium Scoreboard. We are delighted that the relationship between Walsall FC and Sign Specialists continues to grow."
Admiral, one of sports most iconic trademarks, will manufacture the club's playing and replica kits until 2012.
Created in 1914, Admiral's heritage is second-to-none and they are one of the UK's leading sports manufacturers.
The brand is steeped in history and, through their 40-year association with professional football, were pioneers of replica football kits. They were the first major brand to produce kits for the England national team. Since then, only one other manufacturer has worked with England.
During the 1970's they were pioneers of a new concept producing bespoke football kits for major football clubs, coupling innovative design and fabrics with the use of the club's official crest or badge.
Throughout the 1980's this innovation was driven forward by Admiral and other manufacturers leading to availability at retail of design-led football wear and replica kits as a new sector was created within the sportswear market.
The turn of the Century saw Admiral enter the world of cricket as Official kit supplier to the England, West Indies and South African cricket teams as well as maintaining their association with football. In recent years the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leeds United and Preston North End have all worn the Admiral brand and Chief Executive, Roy Whalley, expressed his delight at having such a leading UK sports manufacturer involved with Walsall Football Club.
"Admiral are one of Britain's most famous sports brands and we are proud to be associated with them," he explained. "Their brand is steeped in history and sporting excellence and we feel sure that our new home and away kits will be a big hit amongst supporters."
The Saddlers' new home kit sees the club return to red shirts, white shorts and red socks. For the past two seasons, the club have worn predominantly white shirts but felt it was time to return to the red, which has served us so well.
"When looking back at the history of Walsall Football Club red has been the predominant colour," added Roy Whalley. "For periods in the 1960's, 70's and 80's the club wore white shirts but we felt that, after two seasons, it was the right time to return to red."