• Fri. May 24th, 2024

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Sponsors show of support despite Covid era concerns

A Teesside basketball team is looking forward to the new season after welcoming several new sponsors.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen paid a visit to Teesside Lions Basketball Club to welcome five commercial partners ahead of the new ‘Covid era’ season.

Attracting sponsorship is often challenging, but to do so in such uncertain times adds further difficulty and Mayor Houchen was eager to meet the new commercial partners and congratulate them on their support for a club that is putting Teesside and the Tees Valley on the global sporting map.

The national league club has attracted worldwide interest after signing Great Britain Coach Marc Steutel and an impressive team led by 7’0” professional Theo Turner in their bid to bring professional basketball to Teesside.

Among the sponsors is Durham-based managed IT services provider Concept IT, which has signed up to sponsor the team’s game warm-up tops for the second year.

Kevin Embleton, Concept IT managing director, said: “As the Lions IT provider, we’re pleased to be sponsoring the team for the second year in a row. They’re a great bunch of people, who are not only putting Teesside on the map for elite sport, but also supporting the community, working with children of all ages to instill the importance of health and wellbeing, and it makes us proud to feel that we’re giving something back.”

Announcing the club’s sponsors at a recent event, Ben Houchen said: “I think the Lions are a real hidden gem and that is reflected in the calibre of businesses that are getting involved.

“You’ve got some really good sponsors who want to go along for the ride with a professional basketball team right here in Teesside.

“It’s great to see local businesses wanting to give back to community sport. Participating in sport is fantastic for children, and it’s pleasing to see them getting involved – it’s what Teesside’s all about.”

Along with Concept IT, which offers fully managed IT services to small and medium-sized businesses across the North East, the Lions are also sponsored by Teesside Airport, JSC Electrics, digital agency Ryze, Tigra Sportswear, 4 the Weekend and, for the second year as front of jersey main sponsor, Lemon Business Solutions.

Martin Anderson, managing director of Stockton-based call management specialists Lemon, said: “To have bold ambitions is one thing, but the owner James Thomson is delivering on his intentions in a spectacular way. The momentum at which Teesside Lions is developing is staggering and we are proud to play a part in something special that will hopefully produce a long lasting legacy.

“I would urge and welcome other businesses in the region to come on board and help make a big difference to the lives of thousands of children, hundreds of fans and the perception of Teesside in general.”

Teesside Lions owner James Thomson added: “Sponsorship is a significant part of our income, allowing us not just to operate, but to develop as a team.

“During the Covid lockdown, we’ve had five months with no income, but still had operational costs.

The club would have struggled to operate had we failed to secure the support of these sponsors, but welcoming both returning and new commercial partners is an indication that we are doing something right, and has allowed us to deliver something for the people of Teesside to be excited about in spite of the Covid uncertainty.”

The first game of the season has been announced as the Teesside derby against TV Mohawks on Sunday October 25th and fans can keep updated for news on whether spectators will be permitted via the club website and social media platforms. It is hoped that test events around the country will allow a number of spectators into the event at Teesside’s 1,200 capacity Eston Leisure Centre.