UK: Teeside-based holiday letting firm Host & Stay has partnered with two English Football League [EFL] clubs to continue to grow its reach across the communities in which it operates.
Based in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Host & Stay is supporting Middlesbrough FC and Sheffield Wednesday FC in deals that will involve matchday branding and both clubs’ charity foundations.
The firm, which is part of The SDDE Smith Group and currently operates over 600 holiday homes, said that it recognises the important part football plays in the community, and having supported Middlesbrough FC as a family, and with many employees who do the same, was keen to form partnerships that can deliver a real impact.
With both partnerships, Host & Stay is looking to increase customer awareness, among both guests and owners, and give back to the local areas in which it operates.
Owner and Group CEO, Dale Smith, said: “Football clubs are at the heart of every community, and for most people, it’s one of the longest relationships they will have in their lifetime. We’re hoping that these partnerships will enable us to get closer to the communities in which we operate through charitable donations, giving our time to volunteer, providing new jobs for local people and developing careers as we grow.”
The partnerships will bring key opportunities for Host & Stay, its employees and the wider community through engagement, club association, tickets and player activations. The firm has also pledged to support both clubs’ charity foundations, the MFC Foundation and the Sheffield Wednesday Foundation, by giving away their allocated matchday tickets to children and families who would otherwise not have the opportunity to watch a football match.
Discussing the success of the collaboration so far, chief operating officer of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, Liam Dooley, said: “We are delighted with the partnership with Host & Stay and from the outset we have seen a fantastic fan reaction. This has been shown with outstanding shirt sales, with both the home and away shirt rate of sales way in advance of this time last year, so much so that we have had to pull forward orders to meet demand in some sizes.”
Host & Stay has already pledged its support to Sheffield Wednesday Football Club and the local community by launching a £1,000 giveaway to celebrate the new kit launch, donating prizes to the club’s matchday half time challenge and will be gifting 50 tickets for each Sheffield Wednesday game to residents of underprivileged areas in the city.
Dooley continued: “Only weeks in and it feels like a true partnership, with both sides going over and above the agreed contract. We look forward to bringing even more of our exciting joint marketing plans to life as we move through the season.”
Lee Fryett, chief commercial officer at Middlesbrough Football Club, said: “There is a huge amount of both personal and professional pride to see the club and Host & Stay working so closely together. Having known Dale and his family for many years, it is fantastic to see how successful the brand has become.
“Dale and his team work endlessly and I can say with certainty that the Host & Stay brand will only continue to grow bigger and bigger. We feel here at MFC we can help accelerate that brand growth and we are very excited to be part of that journey.
“Most importantly, we know as a local business Host & Stay share the same community based values as we do as a club. This is core to our partnership and we look forward to delivering our objectives together to the benefit of our local community with some industry leading innovations.
“When looking for partners to work with as a football club you have criteria that you always try to achieve; we can say wholeheartedly that this partnership ticks every one of those boxes and much more. We are delighted to be working with Host & Stay,” he added.
Smith added: “We’re passionate about the places in which we operate, and we want to ensure that we are truly having an impact in the communities around us. These partnerships allow us to do that on so many levels, and we’re excited at what the future holds for this season and beyond.”