New sponsor deal for next week?
IPSWICH Town are closing in on a main sponsor with SnOasis still very much in the frame.The Blues could make an announcement about a new deal as early as next week, with chief executive Derek Bowden negotiating with three separate candidates.
By Derek Davis
IPSWICH Town are closing in on a main sponsor with SnOasis still very much in the frame.
The Blues could make an announcement about a new deal as early as next week, with chief executive Derek Bowden negotiating with three separate candidates.
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The EADT revealed in February that the £350m project SnOasis would be keen to raise their profile through Ipswich Town once the Governmental go ahead had been given to their scheme.
With Hazel Blears 'mindful to approve' the scheme under certain conditions SnOasis are confident they will get the final nod in September and have held more talks with the Blues. Bowden said: “SnOasis are still interested so it really depends if we sign another deal before they are able to press the go button. We do have a couple that we are close too and I would think within a couple of weeks we can make an announcement.
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“That would either be more progress on SnOasis given that they can't or won't commit before getting the final go ahead or one or two others.
“It would be nice to get as many as we can to the finishing line as we can and have a choice but if it comes to the point where we get a firm offer and it is the right level of investment then we will take it.”
One of the other companies in negotiation is understood to be Linguarama, which is a part of the Marcus Evans Group and is looking for a world wide vehicle to promote its name.
But Town will not be travelling to rival Championship clubs with National Express on its shirts after the coach and train company decided against sponsoring the Blues.
Bowden confirmed: “We have talked to National Express but it will not be them.”
Suffolk based companies AXA and Willis have also had talks with town but decided against sponsoring them.
Although the Blues are keen to get a deal signed, so they can then start pushing shirt sales with the new sponsor's name on, they are in a strong negotiating position.
Bowden also believes their seven-year relationship with e.on, which started as TXU and then Powergen, and was one of the longest partnerships outside the Premiership, has helped in attracting quality sponsors.
Headed by Mike Thompson, who has been promoted to head of sponsorship world wide working out of Germany, e.on's presence expanded and he provided a reference for Ipswich to prospective sponsors.
Bowden said: “E.on would be a great case study on how a company has used a sponsorship to build its customer base and name awareness.
“We have used it to develop ideas and plans and it has worked. It was not just about slapping a name on a shirt.
“They got real value and with the wide range of creative ways it can work
“It worked well with e.on and Brand Rapport, the agency they used, and if you get a prospective sponsor in front of Mike he would extol the virtues of sponsoring Ipswich Town.”