E.On no longer to sponsor Town shirts
IPSWICH Town will not have E.ON on the front of their shirts next season, it was confirmed today.The current sponsorship deal, which is due to run out at the end of the season, will not be renewed and a new main sponsor is now being sought.
By Paul Geater
IPSWICH Town will not have E.ON on the front of their shirts next season, it was confirmed today.
The current sponsorship deal, which is due to run out at the end of the season, will not be renewed and a new main sponsor is now being sought.
The end of the current sponsorship deal has been on the card since E.ON announced in September it was closing its Wherstead Park offices.
E.ON's decision to pull out of Suffolk had led to fears that some Town fans would resist buying shirts with the company name all over them - former E.ON employees would be especially reluctant to buy the shirts.
And with the club now expecting a cash windfall from prospective new owner Marcus Evans, Ipswich Town should now be an attractive option for a company looking to boost its profile.
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Speculation was today mounting on who would take over the sponsorship next year with major Suffolk-based companies AXA and Greene King in the frame.
Another possibility is that Marcus Evans' name could appear on the shirt as his business tries to improve its profile in the lucrative ticket agency and corporate hospitality business.
Town fan Phil Ham, who runs the TWTD fanzine, said few supporters would be surprised by today's news.
He said: “Ever since E.ON announced it was pulling out of Ipswich this has looked pretty inevitable.
“I don't think the club will be too concerned - there were fears that fans would not be happy about having E.ON on their shirts after what had happened.
“I know people who currently work at Wherstead Park were not too happy about buying E.ON shirts. This decision is probably best for both parties.
“Having said that, I know the club has been very pleased with the sponsorship it has had with E.ON, Powergen, and TXU. It worked very well for both parties while the power companies had a major presence in the town.”
Mr Ham felt it was important that the club should find a sponsor which would be good for both parties.
“Ipswich Town is a club on the up and there are realistic hopes of achieving promotion in the near future - so we should look at a company looking to boost its international, as well as national, profile.
He thought a sponsorship deal with Marcus Evans could be realistic: “There are other cases where owners have also been main sponsors - like Auto Trader at Reading - but what is really important is to get the right sponsor for the club,” he said.
Mike Thompson, E.ON's Head of Sponsorship, said: “We are immensely proud to have been part of one of the longest club sponsorship deals in football.
“We remain fully committed to the Club and look forward to working closely with the Club and fans this season. It is appropriate that in this, our final season, we are able to recognise the fantastic support of the fans with our True Blue campaign - a season-long initiative to find the most loyal Ipswich Town supporters. The most fanatical fan will win a pair of 20 year season tickets.”
Andrew Goulborn, ITFC's sales and marketing Director said: “We have had a great working relationship with E.ON and enjoyed working with them on a number of highly innovative sponsorship projects including the recent carbon neutral campaign.
“We're very proud of the longevity of this partnership and we look forward to working with E.ON for the remainder of this season and beyond, albeit in a different kind of partnership.
“We have had a number of conversations with other companies interested in working with us in the future and these will now be developed further.”