Exclusive: American Express Deal will Increase Local Fan Engagement says Brighton CEO

By iSportconnect | March 14, 2013

By Steve Moorhouse

Brighton & Hove Albion’s shirt sponsorship deal with American Express will help engage local fans according to the club’s CEO.

American Express, whose European Headquarters are based in the city, signed the deal on Wednesday that will see their logo on the front and back of the team’s shirts.

Brighton CEO, Paul Barber has now said that the deal fits in with their immediate goal of growing their name in the local area, rather than international expansion.

Speaking exclusively to iSportconnect, Barber said: “Any sponsorship deal with a major global brand helps a club to build a wider national and international profile. In our case, however, we are very realistic about our short and medium term objectives and our immediate priority is to continue to raise our profile in the UK and to prioritise building our fan base in the south of England.

“Clearly, if the new shirt sponsorship agreement also helps us to start to develop a wider international and commercial profile in the USA and elsewhere then of course we would see this as an added bonus.

Barber went on to stress that as well as Brighton’s own incentives, he also had to consider those of the bank. He added: “Equally, we have to be mindful of American Express’ own objectives and we know that, in the first instance, this sponsorship is designed to further enhance their standing with our immediate community.

“Clearly, should we secure promotion to the Premier League during the term of the deal, then American Express’ brand would undoubtedly benefit from the Premier League’s phenomenal global appeal and its superb international television coverage.”

American Express has been in the local community since the 1960s and has been involved with the football team since 2010, when they secured the stadium naming rights.

Barber commented on the relationship with them and said: “American Express has been an excellent partner in a variety of ways from providing financial support through their sponsorship, commitment to the club’s own community programmes (Albion in the Community), expertise in areas such as marketing and technology, and overall promotion of the club.”