Flybe confirm Norwich City sponsorship
CHRIS WISE Norwich City will be sponsored for the next two seasons by low fares airline Flybe, it was officially confirmed last night. The link-up will be launched in due course with a shirt unveiling - but Flybe issued a statement revealing that a “multi-million pound” deal had been signed. They are also planning to introduce the Flybe Community Cup, a competition that will see schools in Norfolk battle it out for the right to play in a big Carrow Road final.
Norwich City will be sponsored for the next two seasons by low fares airline Flybe, it was officially confirmed last night.
As exclusively revealed in Tuesday's Eastern Daily Press the Exeter-based company have stepped in to replace current backers Proton and Lotus Cars, whose three-year deal runs out at the end of the current campaign.
The link-up will be launched in due course with a shirt unveiling - but Flybe issued a press statement yesterday revealing that a “multi-million pound” deal had been signed.
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As a result City's new home and away shirts will feature the flybe.com brand from the start of next season, while the airline will also become the club's main sponsors. The initial agreement covers two seasons - but there is an option for it to be extended beyond the 2007-8 campaign if both parties are happy with the way things are going.
“This is such an exciting deal for us and we are proud to be behind a club with such huge potential,” said Flybe's director of marketing Simon Lilley. “The people in Norwich have been extremely supportive of Flybe so we are pleased we can give something back to the community.
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“We are passionate about the communities we serve and passionate about supporting football as a cornerstone of the region. As two of the largest brands in Norwich we look forward to the next few seasons and hope to see the Canaries fly up the league table!”
The deal will offer a number of interesting spin-offs for the club, its fans - and the wider community. Flybe intend to give away tickets to supporters at every home game, while they have also pledged to assist supporters and the team with their travel to away fixtures.
On top of that they are planning to introduce the Flybe Community Cup, a competition that will see schools in Norfolk battle it out for the right to play in a big Carrow Road final.
The deal means Flybe are now associated with four different football teams. They are already shirt sponsors of Premiership side Birmingham and their home club, Conference outfit Exeter, while they recently signed a main club sponsorship deal with Southampton.
If Birmingham are relegated at the end of the season then three clubs will be sporting the airline's logo in the Championship next term - but Lilley denied there would be any conflict of interest.
“That is something we would relish, a Flybe Championship if you like,” he said. “We would obviously want to see all our clubs doing well but we would stay strictly neutral when they were playing each other.”
The airline say they have brokered the deal with the Canaries not only to boost their profile but also to reinforce their commitment to the city. They have made significant investments at Norwich Airport since opening an operations base there in December 2004 - and now serve 16 domestic and European routes to such diverse destinations Aberdeen, Faro, Geneva and Dublin.
Now that the agreement has been announced the Canaries will be working flat out to get their new kit ready for launch and if everything goes to plan shirts should go on sale some time during July, in good time for the big kick-off on August 5.