Kubota UK has signed a new partnership with Northampton Saints that will see the market leading machinery supplier become an elite sponsor of the Aviva Premiership rugby team for the next two seasons.
Kubota’s logo has been seen on the back of the Saints’ playing shirts since last October, with the company also providing the machinery for the Franklin’s Gardens ground staff to maintain the pitches to the highest possible standards despite some trying conditions during the wet winter.
The new Elite Sponsor agreement was officially announced on the pitch at half time during the Saints v Leicester Tigers game on Saturday 16th April 2016. Saints’ CEO Allan Robson invited Kubota UK’s managing director Dave Roberts to join him for the announcement and a photo opportunity.
Dave Roberts, Kubota’s managing director, commented: “When we joined forces with the Saints for the 2015/16 season, it was the first time ever that Kubota UK had carried out sponsorship with a top flight sports team.
“Based on the success of this partnership, we decided to take this to the next level for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons and become an elite sponsor.
There are many similarities between the goals of Kubota UK and those that the Saints have, not least a drive for excellence and a desire to lead our respective fields. Rugby in general is also a much loved sport for many of our dealers and end-users operating in the agricultural, groundcare and construction sectors and with our engine OEM customers. We are therefore delighted to be continuing our support for the club and look forward to building a mutually beneficial future in which we both achieve our aims.”
“There’s no doubt that being associated with one of Europe’s leading professional rugby teams offers us excellent reach for our brand, with the added advantage of enjoying watching a fantastic team achieve success.”
Kubota UK’s elite sponsorship includes prime brand positioning on the back of Northampton Saints’ rugby shirts (for all home, away and European matches), as well as all replica kit (adults, children and the club’s baby clothes range).
The Kubota logo will also be prominent on Saints collateral, including the matchday programme and tickets, on the big screen in the ground and perimeter advertising boards pitchside along with some additional stadium branding.
On top of the branding opportunities, the sponsorship also includes a number of hospitality packages, player appearances at events and the use of senior players for a schools holiday coaching clinic. Kubota is also sponsoring the Saints’ ‘Tackle of the Season’ Award for the club’s end-of season celebrations.
Saints Chief Executive Allan Robson is delighted that Kubota has signed this agreement with the club. “It’s very pleasing to see that Kubota UK has quickly recognised the value of an association with a club like Northampton Saints and make this decision to develop their Elite Sponsorship agreement with us,” he said.
Key to the success of this partnership has been the ability for Northampton Saints’ groundcare team to use Kubota machinery as part of the sponsorship. The team have been provided with a Kubota Grand GL40 Series mid-range tractor and an RTVX900 utility vehicle to help maintain the main pitch and training grounds. The machines have been supplied by local Kubota dealer George Browns Ltd, who are also providing ongoing service and aftersales support.
Wayne Billing, head groundsman at Northampton Saints, said: “Our job is to keep our pitch and training facilities in first class condition to ensure the players have the best preparation time and surface for playing winning rugby on match days. In order to deliver this, it is essential we have the best kit on the market. The Kubota brand is world renowned for being the best on the market for performance and reliability, so we are delighted to working with them and George Browns.”