SPAR NI is set to become Ulster Rugby’s first community partner in a match-up that will work to elevate the club’s grassroots sport in local communities by supporting the next generation of players, coaches, referees, and volunteers from across the province.
As part of the new two-year deal, SPAR NI will be the primary sponsor of Ulster Rugby’s mini-rugby activities across the province, which each year sees over 2,000 young people playing the sport with their local clubs and schools.
This will include sponsorship of the Primary Schools’ Mini-Rugby Festival, a key calendar event for the youth game, which showcases the development of basic skills, understanding of the rules of rugby, and behaviours required to play the game, all supported through a year-long mini-rugby programme, which will now be further developed through SPAR NI’s investment.
SPAR NI will also be supporting the half-time mini-rugby showcase games which take place throughout the season on selected match nights at Kingspan Stadium when the Senior Men’s team are competing in the United Rugby Championship and Heineken Champions Cup. From on-pitch branding and big screen content to mascot activation, SPAR NI will grow engagement with what is already a popular activity.
Laura Thompson, Corporate Marketing Manager at Henderson Group which owns SPAR in Northern Ireland, commented: “The community ethos behind Ulster Rugby’s grassroot schemes for young people to benefit from team sports is an excellent opportunity for SPAR NI to engage with more families in local communities in Northern Ireland.
“We believe in the power of community and know that taking such huge opportunities out into those communities can bring both social and economic benefits to the individuals and areas, teaching young people important skills and behaviours for both on and off the pitch.”
Ulster Rugby CEO, Jonny Petrie, added: “It’s great that SPAR NI have come on-board with us to support the grassroots rugby activity that is the heartbeat of our sport across the province.
“We believe through the links that we have directly into the community across Ulster, we can increase the visibility of our partner’s brand, whilst together making an impact for all those involved in the game, including those at an early stage of their playing career.”
SPAR NI will offer shoppers, schools and staff teams benefits from the partnership which include regular ticket giveaways and exciting activities to win prizes during match nights and beyond. Players will also get involved with SPAR NI’s many initiatives throughout the year.
Senior Men’s players, James Hume and Sean Reffell, can already be seen participating in SPAR’s seasonal campaign, 12 Deals of Christmas, on social media.
SPAR NI’s sponsorship of Ulster Rugby will initially run for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons, investing in the club’s grassroots community outreach for at least the next two years.