Nick Matthew backs plan to attract a younger audience
By DONNA HELMER (England Squash)
England Squash have announced a record three-year sponsorship with the world’s number one squash brand, Dunlop, which will see the sport’s market leader become the official partner of the England Squash Junior Circuit, including title sponsor of the British Junior Open, British Junior Championships and English Junior Championships.
The agreement heralds an exciting new era for Dunlop, who earlier this year came under new ownership, as well as for England Squash, who recently announced a restructure and a new commercial direction for the national governing body.
Alongside increased investment, England Squash and Dunlop will work closely in rebranding the sport to attract a younger target market with Dunlop enjoying unrivalled exposure across the UK’s leading junior tournaments.
Steve Heatley, Dunlop UK Sales Manager said: “We are delighted to be the official partner and title sponsor of the England Squash Junior Circuit. The British Junior Open is one of the most prestigious tournaments in junior squash worldwide and has provided a stepping stone for many Dunlop ambassadors including current World No.1 Greg Gaultier and Nick Matthew OBE, two of the most successful players of all time.
“Along with the British and English Junior Championships, Dunlop will support England Squash in promoting the junior game and the very best young talent from the UK and abroad. This record junior sponsorship agreement cements our relationship with England Squash and is a key part of our strategy to invest in squash at all levels”.
England Squash Chief Executive Officer Keir Worth said: “We are thrilled to have Dunlop as the official partner and title sponsor of our junior circuit. As an established and leading brand within squash, Dunlop’s investment will allow us to stage world-class junior events, raise the profile of the sport internationally and showcase the finest young players from around the world. We are extremely grateful for their support and this partnership over the coming years.”
Three-time World Champion, Dunlop sponsored player and former British Junior Open Champion Nick Matthew, added: “It’s great to see Dunlop’s continued support for the future of squash. Dunlop have supported me throughout my career and have been a fantastic partner. As I’ll be handing the baton over to the youngsters at the end of this season, it’s good to know that Dunlop will be continuing to invest in the junior game and drive squash forward in the UK.”
The first tournament to come under the new Dunlop English Junior Squash Circuit will be the Dunlop British Junior Championships which will be staged in Manchester from October 26-29, followed by the Dunlop British Junior Open, the world’s most prestigious junior tournament which will be held in Birmingham from January 3-7, and the Dunlop English Junior Championships scheduled for March 9-11 in Hull.
As the longstanding Official Ball Partner of England Squash, Dunlop has enjoyed a close and successful partnership with the national governing body while agreements with the Professional Squash Association (official racket and ball), the World Squash Federation (official ball) and other national federations underpins the brand’s commitment to the sport and its market leadership position.