North East Philanthropist Tony Platten, Chair of Blyth Spartans Association Football Club, has announced that local charity the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland will be the club’s shirt sponsor for the 2018-19 season.
The in-kind sponsorship sees the charity feature as the main sponsor for Blyth Spartans AFC, members of the National League North, in the sixth tier of English football. The Foundation was a previous beneficiary of in-kind sponsorship in 2014-15, a season that took the Spartans on a magical FA Cup run, eventually losing in a third-round home tie with Championship side Birmingham City.
Tony Platten, a fund-holder at the Community Foundation and Chair of Blyth Spartans explains why he made the decision of in-kind sponsorship:
“Blyth Spartans is a local club that is full of ambition and believes in the importance of setting a good example in the way we operate. I’m delighted to support the Community Foundation and highlight the important work that it does in the region through its grant-making, including many local grassroots sports activities in Blyth and the local area.
“The sponsorship is somewhat of a birthday gift from myself, as the charity celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2018. With superstition in football, I also hope that it can help inspire our players on a similarly impressive cup run as we did the last time the shirt was sponsored in the 2014-15 season!”
When the Foundation was last on the front of the Spartan’s shirt in 2014-15, the charities endowment was at £58 million and handed out over £5m to local causes. Since then, the charity has grown considerably, with assets totalling £81m, and grant-making of over £7.2m announced in the last financial year.
Sandra King, Chief Philanthropy Officer at the Community Foundation said:
“We are incredibly grateful for our relationship with Tony and for the kind offer of free sponsorship of Blyth Spartans. Football clubs such as this make up the fabric of our local community, showing the passion that exists in our region. Blyth Spartans have a great history and are an ambitious club and we hope this exposure can help us to reach new audiences, to extend our giving to those who really need our support.”