Sponsor is new goal for Town

A credit card company, an insurance giant, and a worldwide language learning firm are among the potential candidates to become emblazoned on the Ipswich Town kit next season.

Derek Davis

A credit card company, an insurance giant, and a worldwide language learning firm are among the potential candidates to become emblazoned on the Ipswich Town kit next season.

No deal has yet been struck but the hunt for a new main sponsor for the Blues is expanding as they look to close in on Premiership promotion.

Town have been talking to several East Anglian-based companies about a possible sponsorship deal. One is still a strong possibility while another looks less likely.

However, Blues chief executive Derek Bowden revealed that they are also ready to cast the net wider.

Bowden said: “We are not that close to finalising a sponsorship deal at the moment. We have two or three companies that are interested but they have not committed to anything yet. We will be spreading the net nationally in the next couple of weeks.

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“We are not panicking by any means but we don't have one yet.”

Among the international possibilities being explored by Ipswich are a major credit company looking to expand their business further in the UK.

Capital One, who already sponsor Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest, are understood to be considering looking to open offices in Ipswich, ironically where e.on were located at Wherstead.

They may see a shirt deal with Ipswich Town as an attractive proposition, although it is believed Coventry City are another option for them.

Another possibility is that new owner Marcus Evans will use Ipswich's high profile as a platform for one of his large group of companies.

Being watched by a worldwide audience in the Premiership for example would seem a wonderful fit with Linguarama, owned by Evans, and a company that has more than 20 centres in Europe and 1,000 clients around the world.

Town are looking for a new shirt sponsor after e.on decided not to renew their arrangement and are pulling their workforce out of Ipswich.

Although Championship rivals Bristol City have recently secured a new sponsor for next season, Bowden believes companies are tending to wait until they can see which division clubs are in before committing themselves.

Bowden said: “Generally the market seems to be late. It now seems that clubs don't get new sponsorship until the summer instead of halfway through the season.”

Even so, Bowden is confident next season's kit will be adorned by a new name in time for kick off.

He said: “We will have a sponsor in place by the time the season starts. The issue for us is that it is the right sponsor.”

Ipswich's carbon neutral initiative with e.on won the Charity, community and environment sponsorship of the year award at the industry's prizegiving ceremony, while, e.on, won the prestigious Hollis Sponsorship of the Year award for its backing of the FA Cup.

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