FA seeks sponsors for English National Football Centre

St Georges Park: The FA looking for sponsors
St Georges Park: The FA looking for sponsors

The Football Association (FA) is on the hunt for sponsors for its National Football Centre, due to open in 2013.

Potential sponsors are being offered both branding and experiential marketing opportunities at the 330-acre site, which is located at St George's Park in Staffordshire.

The centre will form the headquarters of England's 24 national teams, as well being home to the FA's educational, medical and sports science operations. The FA is seeking brands to complement its top-tier sponsor, Umbro, as well as BT, which recently became the association's official communications partner.

It is looking for 'four or five' tier-two sponsors, including a finance/banking partner, technology partner and health and wellbeing partner, as well as tier-three backers.

Sponsors will be offered various marketing opportunities, including the use of football pitches for promotions as well as its banqueting and conferencing suite. The FA is due to announce its healthcare partner within a week.

The venture is being led by project chairman David Sheepshanks, the former chairman of Ipswich Town, who told Marketing that sponsors would be investing in a scheme that promises to 'deliver benefits to football and beyond'.

Sheepshanks added: 'In the old days, a simple coaching badge might have been enough for a budding football coach or manager, to last their whole career.

'However, the new generations want to go on improving themselves. St George's Park will be the focal point for this football revolution.'

The site will also feature two Hilton hotels, including a separate wing for the England team, which will accommodate consumers on 'every (possible) budget'.

The profits from the hotels will help to fund the national football centre project.

IN MY VIEW EXPERT COMMENT

Nigel Currie, Director, brandRapport

"Any centre of excellence has potential as a sponsorship opportunity and such is the demand in football for such deals, I don't think that the FA will have trouble finding a suitable partner.

The downside is the location and the lack of potential opportunities for the senior team to be assembled there.

There would be a natural fit with one of the FA's existing sponsors, or McDonald's through its grass-roots coaching scheme, but ideally for the FA, it would be a chance to create a naming-rights package."

Follow John Reynolds on Twitter  @johnreynolds10

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