VIDEO: Sponsorship chance as Hartpury relaunches Kick Start campaign
By David Wood and Mark Owen | 16th September 2022
Businesses have a fresh chance to provide "game-changing" sponsorship to athletes at Hartpury University and Hartpury College.
Hartpury has relaunched its Kick Start Campaign offering businesses the chance to partner with 10 sporting academies.
Ex-Gloucester and England rugby player James Forrester, who is now head of sponsorship and business engagement at Hartpury, spoke to Punchline editor Mark Owen about the opportunities available to business and the impact sponsorship has on the various academies.
"The Kick Start campaign is an opportunity for businesses both locally and nationally to engage with Hartpury," said James. "Most people have heard of Hartpury for our equine and our rugby. We have a lot of high-profile ex-rugby players come through such as Johnny May and current world player of the year Zoe Aldcroft, who has captained England recently.
"But less well known, we have football, rowing, netball, golf, modern pentathlon and performance. These athletes are some of the very best in the country.
"We have relaunched the Kick Start Campaign as an opportunity for businesses to engage with us, sponsor us and support these athletes. It's not only a great way to support them, it's a great corporate, social responsibility (CSR) opportunity for these businesses to engage and have a mutually beneficial association with Hartpury and our great athletes.
"It can be absolutely game changing. We've seen that with the women's rugby. The budget has really improved over the last year or two and that 's massively benefited the quality we deliver, in terms of the facilities, attracting players and being able to help with nutrition. Raising sponsorship can have a massive impact on the quality of the programmes we can deliver to these athletes."
James said the sponsorship had to be mutually beneficial, adding: "We see it as a great CSR opportunity but it's more than that - we are giving some fantastic assets as well, Coming with the Kick Start campaign will be the headline sponsor of sports such as netball, headline sponsor across the kit, onsite presence through branding and signage, social media presence and invites to events. We run 300 to 400 events through our departments and there's an opportunity to speak at them so there's some really good networking and branding opportunities."
James, who was a product of the Gloucester Rugby Academy, said he first went to Hartpury as a player in 2004. He said it was "absolutely incredible" to see it now and the development and progress had been "amazing".
"If anyone would like to have have a look at the opportunities and facilities, I think you would be blown away and it's in an absolutely beautiful setting as well."
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