Flybe, Europe’s largest and most successful regional airline, is proud and honoured today to announce a further year’s sponsorship of Exeter City FC, taking the partnership to a tenth full year, just months before the airline itself marks its tenth year of operation in July.
In a photocall at St. James’ Park, the emphasis was very much on celebrating the number 10, as the Grecians’ star striker and wearer of the coveted shirt, Daniel Nardiello posed with over-sized number one and zero to celebrate the partnership between the Exeter-based airline and the League One club.
The airline first became shirt sponsors in 2002 and have stuck with the club through thick and thin, watching as they have risen from the Conference to become last season’s surprise play-off challengers in league one. During this time, the club has won widespread plaudits for being one of the few professional outfits to be owned and run by its fans through the ECFC Supporters Trust and meanwhile, Flybe have grown from the fifth biggest UK domestic airline to number one.
The six figure deal includes financial performance bonuses based on the club’s standing in the League. The contract also provides additional branding opportunities to Flybe and also sees ongoing support of the Club’s community football development with commitment to some key initiatives including the Flybe Community Cup and schools’ coaching competitions.
Football League officials have confirmed that the agreement between Flybe and City is the third longest by any private sector company, bettered only by Carlisle Utd and AFC Wimbledon, a remarkable achievement by any measure*.
Commenting on the deal, Flybe’s Director of Marketing Simon Lilley said: “Flybe is delighted to be extending our sponsorship of Exeter City. At a time when the economic environment is challenging and the football sponsorship market nationally is in decline, we are proud to again demonstrate our commitment to our local club with a contract that will take the partnership into its second decade. Grecians’ supporters have been extremely supportive of Flybe and we are proud to have the opportunity to continue our special relationship with the Club and its fans.”
Julian Tagg, Exeter City’s Vice Chairman and CEO said: “We are enormously proud to be renewing once again with Flybe and to be celebrating 10 years of partnership and genuine friendship. Exeter City is a community owned club with a unique association with a major member of our community. Together, over this 10 year period, we have both gone forward and made huge strides in our respective fields. At the same time we have both clearly remained true to our core beliefs and grown within the communities we live and work in. We carry Flybe on our shirts as an endorsement of our commitment to each other.”
In conclusion, Mr. Lilley said: “Flybe’s support for the club goes way beyond simply putting the brand on the shirt and continues behind the scenes to see us regularly providing assistance with flying players, Paul’s management team and potential new signings around the UK, to helping with scouting missions and reccies of forthcoming opponents. We would like to think that we have played a small part in the Club’s success over the last few years.”