The agreement will see the University of Northampton’s logo displayed on the Saints’ playing shirts for the next three full seasons, starting with this Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby East Midlands derby against Leicester Tigers.
However, the sponsorship will go a lot further than just a logo, according to Saints chief executive Allan Robson, who says that the club and University are looking to build a long-term and sustainable partnership.
“We have put together an agreement with the University of Northampton that we genuinely believe will have a significant impact not only throughout our region and not just within rugby either,” he commented.
“Obviously this partnership agreement will have a positive impact on the club. But the benefits will work in both ways, not least because we are able to offer valuable work experience, internship and project opportunities for students across a wide range of departments that will enhance their career prospects once they graduate.
“We are particularly delighted with how the University of Northampton will be supporting and enhancing our community programmes that use rugby to engage with, motivate and inspire tens of thousands of young people across Northamptonshire and beyond.
“And as the countdown to the 2015 World Cup continues the club will have a superb opportunity to take the name of the University of Northampton to a new audience who will play an important role in continuing the recent growth of rugby as a whole and the Aviva Premiership in particular, as Saints’ matches continue to be broadcast on live TV across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, North America and, of course, the southern hemisphere.
“Everyone at Franklin’s Gardens is very excited by this new partnership and we’re looking forward to working closely together and entrenching our relationship over the coming years.”
The University of Northampton has nearly 15,000 students and is about to embark on a multi-million pound investment, developing a new campus within the town’s Enterprise Zone placing the University at the heart of the community.
“I’m very pleased that the University has partnered with the Northampton Saints,” said Vice-Chancellor of the University of Northampton Nick Petford. “The University of Northampton is proud to be England’s number one University for employability in 2012, and this partnership will further develop our ability to offer our students unique opportunities for work placements, volunteering opportunities and internships, not only in the field of sports management, but with the other areas involved in running a successful Premiership Rugby team. Working with the Saints will enable us to deliver even more social value to the people of Northamptonshire.
“Working with the Northampton Saints community programmes will mean that our students and academic staff will be delivering real benefits to young people in schools and clubs. The University’s expertise in health, exercise, and diet will add significantly to the schemes run. The social value of the University’s input will be immense and is a key part of its social enterprise strategy.”