Luton Town mark long-awaited top flight appearance with biggest ever sponsorship deal

Luton Town & Utilita

Newly-promoted English Premier League side Luton Town has continued its strong bond with British energy supplier Utilita, confirming them as its front shirt sponsor for the 2023/24 season.

The deal will allow Utilita to feature on the front of all three of the Hatters’ playing shirts.

Under the arrangement Utilita, with its charity arm Utilita Giving, they have also committed to donating around $4 AUD to local charities for every hatters shirt sold. This will likely lead to major donations to local groups such as Luton Foodbank.

Utilita is the UK’s leading Smart Pay As You Go Energy Supplier serving over 800,000 customers. Their speciality is pay as you go metering and they were the first company in the UK to do so in 2003.

Utilita has a long history of sponsoring English football sides and has had a relationship with the Hatters since 2015 when the two joined as partners. The relationship was elevated in February 2022 when the Hatters made Utilita their front of shirt sponsor.

In announcing the new deal Luton Town CEO Gary Sweet spoke of the loyalty and alignment between the two partners.

“Loyal relationships in the world of football business can often be difficult to find and then preserve, so we are immensely proud to announce this agreement which will also aid three charities who undertake magnificent support to those in need in our local community,” he said via press release.

“While this represents a landmark shirt sponsorship deal in our long history, we feel it is important to recognise the strength of the relationship we have fostered together with Utilita over the past eight years.

“Therefore, it gives us great pleasure in knowing that a partnership – which began in League Two – will continue in the top-flight next season.”

Jem Maidment, Chief Marketing Officer at Utilita, spoke of their pleasure at sponsoring the new Premier League side emphasising the journey between the two since 2015.

“Luton and Utilita have forged a terrific relationship over the past few years. Both have challenged the status quo, faced adversity, and got stronger with each passing year,” they added via press release.

“Back in 2015 Luton were in League Two, and Utilita had 150,000 customers. Now Luton are in the Premier League and Utilita are one of Britain’s leading energy suppliers, with more than 800,000 customers and rising.

“The Hatters’ journey over the past ten years to the Premier League is possibly the greatest football story of the 21st Century. We consider it an absolute privilege to have our logo on the famous orange shirt as we continue our journey together into a fantastic new era in the club’s history.

“I’m also delighted that Utilita Giving will be working with the club to support households in fuel and food poverty, as we ramp up our commitment to help those that need it most in Luton and the surrounding area.”

This season will mark Luton Town’s first in the top flight since 1991/92 and it is great to see the club maintaining its loyalty and connecting with the sponsors who’ve helped its meteoric rise from non-league football to the Premier League.

The connection with charities and the community focus of Utilita in providing affordable energy access will also be met with applause from fans as many are feeling cost of living pressures.

This new deal is not only a huge win for the community club but also another win for the Luton community who now know they not only have a Premier League side in their town but also one that even with success won’t forget the community who raised it.

Strategic Plan 2023-2026 launched by Football West

Football West Strategic Plan

Football West recently announced the launch of their 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, a documentation affiliated with Football Australia’s One Football Strategy that will set the direction for football in Western Australia for the coming years.

The plan will see Football West improve the game under five essential departments:

  • Participants and Clubs
  • Elite Teams and Pathways
  • Fans
  • Unifying Football
  • Asia and the Sam Kerr Football Centre

Participants and Clubs

The first pillar has the aim to make Football the most accessible sport in Western Australia where everyone can play anytime, anywhere.

There are key targets set such as: Increase registrations by 5% per annum, increase participation by 3% per annum and have 95% of clubs and associations with a completed affiliation agreement (presently 82%).

Another key focus is the development of women and girls football which isn’t surprising after the recent Women’s World Cup success. Football West set a goal of 42,500 additional women & girls playing football across the three year plan.

Elite Teams and Pathways

This pillar focuses simply on the development of talent at all ages in a bid to improve the quality of the game in Western Australia.

The focus areas are Delivery of a state-wide Football West Academy program, Frequent and consistent talent identification opportunities and High quality coach development pathway


Football West is focusing on optimising the fan experience and grassroots to improve attendance numbers and social media engagement.

Unifying Football

They will develop a resourcing model that allows for the servicing of responsibilities between Football Australia and Football West, formalised in a Service Agreement

Asia and the Sam Kerr Football Centre

Football West will look to improve international exchanges with Asian countries and use the Sam Kerr Football Centre to secure sponsorships and play big matches there by 2026.

Football West Chairman Sherif Andrawes mentioned the vision that the federation has for the future of football across all levels.

“We are excited to present the Strategic Plan to the WA football community. This is a vision that will see football move forward in tandem with Football Australia but with a strong WA focus,” Andrawes said in a statement.

“Football is in a great position across the state. We saw during the FIFA Women’s World Cup and, more recently, when the CommBank Matildas played in Perth, that our sport is unique in its widespread appeal. This passion can be felt across all areas of the game.

“We want to be bold and ambitious, and the Strategic Plan gives us a strong base from which to deliver on that.”

Football West CEO Jamie Harnwell was excited to announce how the Strategic Plan would be implemented successfully.

“This Strategic Plan is a real statement of intent and one we are proud to deliver. Harnwell mentioned in a Football West statement.

“Football is more popular than it has ever been in Western Australia, in terms of participation, inclusivity and popularity, and we should all be proud of this. However, we cannot rest on our laurels.

“As a governing body, we want to make our game even more accessible, so we can inspire a new generation to love football. That comes through hard work, consultation and direction, all of which are key to the Strategic Plan.”

The Strategic Plan is well set out and focuses on the current struggles the federation is having at grassroots level. Partnering closely with Football Australia will help them achieve the ambitious goals set out to improve both the state and national foundation.

FIFA renews with Qatar Airways as Global Airline Partner until 2030

Qatar Airways has been extended as the airline sponsor for the FIFA Men’s World Cup in North America in 2026, as well as the event in Europe, Africa, and South America in 2030.

Initially, the state-owned airline had a two-tournament contract for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The World Cup airline spot should become available again in 2034, when Saudi Arabia is slated to host the event. The Saudis intend to establish a second national airline, Riyadh Air.

The new Qatar Airways arrangement was not announced, although it is estimated to be valued hundreds of millions of dollars. The trophy and medal presentation helpers are dressed in the airline’s uniform at World Cup finals.

“Today I am very proud to announce the renewal of our partnership between Qatar Airways and FIFA. It is a great partnership that has brought a lot of success to FIFA, and of course as well to Qatar Airways,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said during the ceremony.

“We are excited to extend our partnership with FIFA as the Global Airline Partner. As an airline, we are committed to connecting the world, and this partnership allows us to reach millions of football fans. Football has the power to unite people across cultures and continents, and we are proud to continue to be part of this incredible journey,” said Group Chief Executive Officer Badr Mohammed Al-Meer.

In the 2019-2022 commercial cycle, the airline was one of seven top-tier men’s World Cup sponsors, earning over $2.7 billion in total marketing rights sales, according to FIFA. It comprises selected FIFA youth competitions as well as the 2027 Women’s World Cup, the host of which will be announced in May.

The 2026 World Cup will be the first to include 48 teams instead of 32, 104 games instead of 64, with players, supporters, and officials spread over 16 locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The 2030 World Cup will feature greater long-distance travel than initially anticipated, with games taking place in six nations across three continents.

FIFA stated last month that it is only considering one offer — the long-favoured Spain-Portugal co-hosting plan, which was expanded this year to include Morocco and now includes South American neighbours Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay hosting one game each as part of a centennial celebration. Uruguay hosted the first World Cup in 1930.

Through a dedicated platform of Qatar Airways, football fans will be excited to hear the airline will in the near future have access to exclusive travel packages such including match tickets, flights and accommodation for selected FIFA tournaments.

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