UK grocer Waitrose has renewed its sponsorship deal with Reading Football Club, it was confirmed today.
Initially signed in 2008, the deal will now extend to the 2012/13 season, with Waitrose appearing on the Berkshire team’s kits, and the John Lewis owned supermarket will continue to provide food for the players’ away matches.
Waitrose is currently the only major UK supermarket involved in a sponsorship deal with a Football League team, although retailer Lloydspharmacy sponsors a stand at fellow Championship team Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.
Waitrose Commercial Director Mark Williamson said: “We’re delighted to extend our commitment to Reading Football Club and its supporters by sponsoring the team for the next two seasons.
“The partnership has already enabled us to support the community in one of our prime retailing areas and broadened the exposure of our brand on both a local and national level.”
Reading FC spent two consecutive years in the Premier League before suffering relegation on goal difference in the 2007/08 season, and has since remained in the second tier of English football.
Waitrose has used its association with Reading FC to strengthen community links within the Berkshire area and has a number of promotions and events lined up for the new year.
Pat Coyne, Commercial Director at Reading FC, added: “We are absolutely delighted that Waitrose has extended its contract with us. Our partnership to date has been very successful and we are looking forward to continuing that for a further two years at least.
“We share the same brand values, together we are very proactive in a number of joint initiatives, especially engaging with fans in the local community, and we are proud to wear the Waitrose logo on our shirt.”