JETS chief executive Lawrie McKinna wants the eyes of Asia on Newcastle and has proposed a unique sponsorship to achieve the goal – and help the club’s bottom line.
McKinna hopes to get 500 sponsors – businesses or individuals – to pay $1000. If successful, the Jets will have Newcastle across the front of the playing jersey, where the major sponsor normally features, for the Asian Champions League campaign.
“For the Asian Champions League we want to have Newcastle as the major sponsor,” McKinna said. “We see ourselves as a flagship for the Hunter. Football TV audiences in Asia are massive and Newcastle will be branded across the front of the shirt.”
Premiers Plate winners Sydney FC and champions Melbourne Victory have automatically qualified for the group stage of the ACL.
The Jets face two qualifiers to join them in the prestigious 32-team tournament.
“We will know on November 24 who we will be playing in the first qualifier at home,” McKinna said.
“It will be a team most likely from Singapore, Indonesia or Vietnam, depending on the ranking. If we win that, we will play a second game away. If we win that we enter the group stage, which includes four home games.
“What we are saying is that if we can get 500 sponsors kicking in $1000 we will have Newcastle on the front of the playing shirt as the major sponsor. Football TV audiences in Asia are massive and Newcastle will be branded across the front.”
For their $1000, sponsors will receive a limited edition replica playing shirt with a name (bussiness or family) printed on it, 10 tickets for each of the four group stage games and a framed 500 club team photo.
“You are getting about $2000 in value, and it’s a great way to get behind the team,” McKinna said. “If we don’t qualify for the group stage, the match tickets are transferable for the final three league games against the Mariners, Wanderers and Sydney FC. We think the sponsorship is a great way for Newcastle people to get behind what we are doing.”
Ledman, the company of which Jets owner Martin Lee is chairman, appears on the front of club’s home jerseys. Inspirations Paint is the major sponsor on the away strip.
“We need to try and break even as a club,” McKinna said. “Martin is happy to move off the front of the jersey, if we have a sponsor willing to pay for it. We have more sponsors this season, so that is going well. But there are still big losses the club is trying to address. We need to generate as much income as we can.”
The Jets will wear a Barcelona inspired style strip for the ACL.
“There is no reason for the design other than it looks good,” McKinna said.
“We are going into Asia and wanted something different.”
The Jets progressed through the group stage to the round of 16 in their only previous participation in the ACL in 2009. Despite the good run they struggled to attract crowd for home games, which are played mid-week.
“In Australia they haven’t really got behind the Asian Champions League,” McKinna said. “This way, if we get 500 members, there is the potential for 5000 people to be at the game. You start get a decent crowd as it should be.”