How Influenced Are We By Club Partners?

Credit Graham Burrell

I found it interesting when filling out the club survey recently, that I didn’t seem to have intricate knowledge of the club partners.

It’s a quiet news day and I thought I’d conduct a little experiment – I’d do a quiz on club partners and see if you could spot which were, and were not, on the current list of partners on the club website. Have a go at it here, and come back in a second.

How many did you get? The default score should be 5/10, being 50/50, but eight or nine might show a tight knowledge of our club partners. Shouldn’t it be ten though? These are the companies putting significant sums of money into the club, announcements are made on a regular basis and yet somehow, they slip by under the radar at times. How many of you saw the recent news we are installing digital advertising boards around the ground for this season’s action? It is a huge step forward in terms of our commercial viability and gives Sincil Bank the feel of a Championship ground, does it not? However, when you saw ‘advertising’ in the headline, did you just mooch on by? I bet that post got far less engagement than one published by a crappy rumour website linking us to a player we’re never going to sign.

LINCOLN CITY CLUB PARTNERS TEN-QUESTION QUIZ

I was fortunate enough to chat with Director of Commercial Affairs, Andrew Whitham on a couple of occasions last season, and our commercial department has gone to a whole new level in recent years. We’re pulling major national partners out of the bag, such as LNER and Cadbury, but also retaining very good relationships with some of our local partners too. Who hasn’t been impressed by the dedication shown by Selenity over the past few seasons, or SRP Hire Solutions, both of whom are run by Lincoln City fans and have invested heavily in the club, both in times of success and times of struggle. I understand some smaller local companies have complained in the past that the focus shifted away from local business, but I can’t agree with that. It’s easy for me to say, I’m not one of the small businesses that have had to stop sponsoring a player or an advertising board, but it feels to me like we’ve kept some great local partners rather than purely lump all our eggs in the big national company basket.

Recently, Manchester United fans chose to protest the club’s owners by boycotting club partners. I like the idea and I’m sure with a global fanbase they can make a difference, and that got me thinking – as a fanbase perhaps we should be striving to support the local businesses that choose to become club partners. I thought I’d look at how many of those I feel any supporter could get behind, if they chose to. Here are a handful of great club partners that offer services pretty much any fan could choose to use.

Hire Solutions – SRP 

I’m a huge fan of SRP. They backed me when I ran A City United, which was a big help at the start of my writing career, and that was purely down to the association with the Imps. We host a party every summer and I get an outdoor loo for those who choose to camp, and SRP are the only company I would ever consider using. They’ve backed the Imps for a long while now too, and are a great company to deal with.

Building Materials – Travis Perkins and Buildbase

This is a tricky one for me, because I worked in the industry for so long I tend to have a few contacts I use outside of the club partners. However, if you go to B&Q on a Sunday and buy timber or cement, trust me you’re having your pants pulled down. I should know, I went to buy a bit of timber on Sunday myself and I reckon you pay 30% more at B&Q. Why not let Travis or Buildbase price your next home improvement job?

Skip Hire – GBM Demolition

At some point, we all need to hire a skip, right? Despite GBM Demolition being the sort of company you might only use if you’re in the building trade, GBM also do skip hire for a good rate. In fact, you might find many other skip hire companies actually use GBM as their supplier! If you need a skip for your home improvement job, then they’re the guys to call.

Building and Construction – Graham Winter Builders, Imp Pave, Harris Jones Scaffolding

There are so many club partners involved in the building trade, and these three should be on your list of people to call should you require their services. Look, having been in the trade, I know you will always get two or three quotes for a job, but just make sure when compiling your list of people to call, these guys are on it. Also, I have to commend the Imp Pave logo, which conjures up memories of the fonts used on the club programme back in the eighties.

Chips – Burton Road Chippy

It pains me to say it, but I’ve not used Buton Road chippy in years. Living outside of Louth makes it tough to pop in and grab a portion, even though I was promised a free one last year! Burton Road chippy are great fun on social media and I’ve heard they’re the best in town. Why not show them some love, like they show the Imps, and go there today?

To find a full list of club partners, including letting agents, accountants, solicitors and software experts, click here.

This article has not been prompted by the club, nor endorsed by them in any way. In fact, it has been prompted by some excellent service from one of those partners, SRP Hire Solutions, and that prompted me to explore some of the other club partners to see if I could promote them a bit on here.