Unique tie-up for football club

Saints sign shirt deal to promote Perth

St Johnstone Perth 2St Johnstone football club has rejected the normal commercial shirt sponsorship package and signed a deal to help promote its home city.

Invest in Perth, the inward investment arm of Perth and Kinross Council, will become first team strip sponsor for the 2015-16 season.

The partnership – the first of its kind in Scottish football – has been sealed in time for the much-anticipated start of the Saints run in European football.

Waste management and recycling company Binn Group, an Invest in Perth Ambassador organisation, has agreed to sponsor the backs of the shirts.

Invest in Perth aims to position Perth City Region as the most desirable place in Scotland in which to live, work, invest and visit.

Council leader Ian Miller said the partnership aims to bring significant benefits to the economic and social life of the city.

He said: “With St Johnstone set to go on its European journey, this ground-breaking tie-up means we have a fabulous opportunity to promote the city to national and international audiences.

“The key behind this decision is that both the council and St Johnstone have recognised that more needs to be done to associate the club with the city of Perth.

“The club is a major asset to the city and wider region in a number of ways. As well as proudly representing Perth in footballing terms, St Johnstone has a huge programme of community activity which contributes greatly to the attractiveness of the city as a place to live which we will be looking to develop further with them.

“But the partnership with Invest in Perth also provides a real opportunity to bring together the business community in Perth like never before to promote economic opportunities and collaborative activity.”

Steve Brown, chairman of St Johnstone, said: “We are delighted to take forward this exciting new opportunity with Invest in Perth – and to further develop our desire to connect with the people and businesses of Perth.

“By taking the decision to partner with Invest in Perth, and not simply go for the highest sponsorship deal we could secure, we want local businesses and people to engage more in the life of St Johnstone.

“We believe this can play a major part to support long-term sustainability for the club and its operations.”

Binn Group chairman John MacGregor said: “As St Johnstone embark on what we hope will be another successful campaign in the Premiership and in Europe, we are proud to align ourselves with the team and help support them through the 2015/16 campaign.

“As two businesses operating in the top division, Binn Group and St Johnstone share the same goals and ambitions for this season and beyond.”

Mr MacGregor said St Johnstone represented a platform where businesses and the community worked effectively together and that he was happy to be involved with both the club and the innovative Invest in Perth programme.

St Johnstone has become the first Scottish club to start pre-season training as the club awaits the draw on 22 June to see who they will play in the Europa League.

The club’s previous European exploits have provided the opportunity to promote economic links with Perth. The tie with Turkish side Eskisehirspor in 2012 led to Perth making connections with Eskisehir (the team’s home city in Turkey) to share knowledge on low carbon and smart city technologies while other potential links are still being explored.

As well as looking at ways to boost St Johnstone’s community activities – which cover all aspects of social inclusion and promoting healthy lifestyles – Invest in Perth will also be working closely with local business support partners, including Chamber of Commerce and Perth College UHI to ensure all opportunities for development are maximised.

Photo: St Johnstone midfielder Murray Davidson models the new top with (left) club chairman, Steve Brown; Depute Provost, Bob Band; and chairman of Binn Group, John MacGregor

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