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.

Newcastle Jets secure A-League future with new owners confirmed

Newcastle Jets have confirmed Maverick Sports Partners as the Club’s new owners. This ownership, subject to final approval from the APL and Football Australia, will launch a “new era” for the Jets under MSP ownership.

This massive announcement comes not long after Australian Professional Leagues chairman Stephen Conroy failed to guarantee Newcastle’s future only three months ago.

The statement said that Maverick Sports Partners have confirmed an agreement to acquire the Newcastle Jets Football Club and are now deeply focused on implementing their plans to bring long term stability and success to this Club.

The Group lead by experienced sports administrator Maurice Bisetto who played a major part in the establishment of Western United FC in the A-Leagues.

Maverick Sports Group is an Australian sports consortium based out of Wetherhill Park in Sydney’s South-West.

Newcastle Jets CEO Shane Mattiske confirmed the significant news.

“Today is a hugely significant day for this Club and this community, as we confirm Maverick Sports Partners as the new owners of the Jets,” said Mattiske in a club statement.

“Over the last three years, we have built a strong foundation for the future of this football club, and it is exciting to be beginning a new era with incoming owners who believe in the opportunity that exists with this Club, with this community and with football as a whole.

“Throughout our process, Maurice Bisetto, the consortium representative, and his partners have demonstrated a deep understanding of football and how to bring success. They also understand this community and their plans are very much aligned with the work that is already underway. I know the Group will bring positive new thinking, new connections and a wealth of experience that will drive the growth of this Club moving forward.

“With this transition to a permanent ownership structure, it is important to acknowledge the support that the outgoing ownership group has provided to the Club over the last three and a half years. These owners believed in the importance of this Club to this community and to the A-Leagues’ competition as a whole.

“They have played a hugely significant role in the history of this Club and on behalf of all fans and stakeholders of the Jets I want to acknowledge the commitment and contribution they have made to us all. Their huge support of this Club will forever be remembered.”

Maverick Sports Partners Director Maurice Bisetto is determined to connect with the Newcastle, Hunter Valley and Northern NSW Community.

“We believe in this Club, the A-Leagues and its players and we’re determined to build success for the Jets and this region,” said Bisetto in a statement.

“We have been impressed by the strength of football here in this region. We know there is a strong historical fanbase and a strong participation base here and we want to bring all of these people together for our Men’s and Women’s games.

“Our team at Maverick Sports Partners are absolutely committed to, and very excited, about the opportunity that exists here at the Newcastle Jets. We see this as the beginning of a new era for the Newcastle Jets and look forward to building a truly great Club with the support of this community.”

This news is huge for the league and the Jets financially, with the club no longer being a financial responsibility for the four other A-League clubs that funded them (Sydney FC, Western Sydney, Western United and Wellington Phoenix).

The Jets can easily recruit players and rebuild to become a stronger unit on the field whilst securing stability off it, and the foundation A-League club with a healthy fanbase and great location can continue to exist.

Iconic Lambert Park re-opens after $2m refurbishment

Lambert Park, home of the APIA Leichardt Football Club, officially re-opened on the weekend after a successful $2m refurbishment.

The extensive investment for the iconic local club includes:

– Replacement of the all-weather playing surface

– Improved drainage

– New concrete edge, stairs and fencing around the perimeter

– Improved access with a new ramp to allow access on the field

The ground is gradually improving to become one of the premier NPL surfaces in the country and this is another one of many recent upgrades helped by the commitment of the Inner West Council.

Currently the ground has two main stands on either side of the playing surface. In the southern stands, there are dressing room facilities, a social club with views of the game, press facilities and media facilities.

On Sunday, the new look Lambert Park was the home for the APIA Leichardt vs Gladesville Ravens NPL Women’s game, and the day was spent in celebration of the refurbishment, as the club organised an event.

The event included an official ceremony by Inner West Council pre-game, free ice cream and activations which drew a decent crowd to the game.

APIA posted an update regarding Sunday’s re-opening.

“Lambert Park was filled with Maroon and Blue as over 400 predominantly female footballers celebrated the $2 million Lambert Park upgrade,” APIA confirmed on their social media accounts.

“The day was filled with some fantastic football and some great activations and enjoyed by all.

“The clubs would also like to thank local clubs Balmain & District Football Club, Leichardt Saints and opponents on the day Gladesville Ravens Women’s NPL football for supporting the day.

“It was a special day for football in our community.”

Lambert Park is an iconic ground that has seen some of Australia’s best names start their careers there since it was first used in 1954.

APIA Leichardt Football Club has produced more Matildas and Socceroos than any other club in Australian history.

The ground gets another much deserved upgrade and will continue to host NPL NSW matches across all age groups in both men’s and women’s competitions.

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