It was just intended as a little bit of end-of-season fun when we agreed a small advertising deal with the Manchester Giants (www.manchestergiants.com) basketball team, who are based just down the road from our new premises. What we didn’t know was that the next home game (against Cheshire Phoenix, on Friday 7th April) would feature on Sky Sports!
As you can see from the photo (courtesy of www.ahmedphotos.com), our branding appeared on the players’ shorts and Sky’s electronic panels – we also had a patch on the court itself, end-line hoardings, scoreboard and the series programmes – and of course due to our web address, some promotion for ‘fire sprinklers’ in general.
The Giants are the highest-scoring BBL team this season so no game is dull, but somewhat disappointingly they lost by just 3 points to Cheshire (84-87) and, on 16th April against Leicester by just a single point (82-83)…but to be fair, they are one of the best teams in the country.
Our advertising was part of a ‘retro series’ – in recent years, the Giants plus some other clubs with a long history (Leicester Riders, Cheshire Phoenix and Newcastle Eagles) have got together to hold a few so-called retro games, harking back to the ‘90s which is when our MD first started watching. The games feature replica kits and guest appearances from players of that time. Somewhat differently to the USA and many other countries across the world, UK basketball was actually much bigger 25-30 years ago, although new investment from the USA and a deal with Sky will hopefully lead to growth – curious that the world’s second biggest sport is distinctly minor in the UK.
Rob Bell, our MD, said “It was an honour being asked to support the Giants with this advertising opportunity – both the Manchester Giants team my family and I (and now some employees) have watched for nearly 30 years, and the MBA40 over 40’s team that I play for, are both great communities to be part of. Plus it’s great to be able to help local youngsters get away from their screens for a while!”.
As part of our ongoing local community support, we have also supplied another set up kits for one of the boys’ ‘Stockport Falcons’ teams under Stockport Basketball Club (stockportbasketballclub.co.uk) who are based at Stockport Sport for All centre, almost literally next door. There are dozens of teams involving hundreds of children based here, so we hope to be able to support many of them in their enjoyment of what is a great team sport over the coming years.
Rob Tinkler, one of the boys’ coaches, said “Your support has been brilliant this season for the U16 and hopefully you are able to support again, however, there are is no pressure or expectations as I know you are working on moving to your new premises, expanding your business, plus I know that you help other organisations already with sponsorship. It’s fantastic news that you will also now be able to support our new U13 team.”