Manchester based investment platform AJ Bell has added to its existing sports sponsorship activity by becoming title sponsor of the Men’s 2013 AJ Bell World Squash Championship.
With its Head Office overlooking the Old Trafford home of Premier League champions Manchester United, AJ Bell has established itself as another major success story for the North West in recent years.
Since the company was founded in 1995 it has quickly grown to become one of the UK’s largest providers of low-cost, online investment platforms and stockbroker services. Proud of its North West roots it also has national coverage with offices in London and Tunbridge Wells.
In a bid to increase awareness of their brand still further, they have looked to embrace sport opportunities. The tactic kicked off last month with a three-year naming rights partnership with near neighbours Lancashire County Cricket Club for the iconic AJ Bell Players & Media Centre.
Fraser Houlder, General Manager of BDS Sponsorship (who were working on behalf of The Men’s World Squash Championship), commented that “upon meeting AJ Bell, and their agency Carat, it quickly became very clear that there was great synergy between AJ Bell’s target market and the profile of squash players and its fans.”
“Squash provides a great platform for brands wishing to reach this exclusive target market and the World Championship is the highest profile event in the squash calendar. Coverage led by the BBC will deliver significant exposure for both the event and AJ Bell and hopefully this will be the start of a long fruitful relationship between AJ Bell and squash”.
Having identified squash players as a natural fit for its target demographic, AJ Bell then quickly moved to secure naming rights for the AJ Bell World Squash Championship too.
“With 1.5 million squash players distributed fairly evenly across the UK, our sponsorship of the event in Manchester is a chance to increase our brand awareness nationally,” said AJ Bell’s Marketing Director, Billy Mackay.
“Importantly, it also cements our strong connection to Manchester and the North West.
“With increasing interest in squash and a decision imminent on the sport’s bid to gain Olympic Games recognition, it is an exciting time to add our support to the excellent work being carried out by the Championship’s stakeholders, PSA, England Squash and Racketball, UK Sport and Manchester City Council.” added Mackay.
Councillor Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council Executive Member for Culture, said: “Manchester is a major international sporting destination hosting global competitions that draw the eyes of the world to the city.
”The announcement that AJ Bell has chosen to sponsor the World Squash Championship can only be seen as positive and it is beneficial to both the company and sports fans throughout Manchester and beyond.”
The 2013 AJ Bell World Squash Championship is the most coveted on the PSA World Series Tour and takes place from October 26 to November 3, with the quarter-finals onwards hosted at the internationally known, Manchester Central (formerly G-Mex).The tournament forms part of UK Sport’s Gold Events series and tickets are now available from Ticketmaster by ringing 0844 847 2508 or visiting www.AJBellworldsquashchamps.co.uk
Alex Gough Chief Executive Officer from the PSA said “We are delighted to see AJ Bell as the title sponsor for this year’s World Championship. The sport is gaining more and more exposure all of the time and to attract a sponsor that is already involved in other successful sports like cricket, shows the growing value of squash at the moment.”
Egypt’s undisputed world number one, Ramy Ashour, will defend the title he won in Doha last December. Ashour also won when the World Championships were last staged in Manchester five years ago.
However, England are World Team champions and, in Yorkshire duo Nick Matthew and James Willstrop, have two players capable of beating the planet’s best.
Nick Rider Chief Executive of England Squash and Racketball finished by saying “We’re really excited about working with AJ Bell on the World Championships, which are a wonderful showcase of all that’s great about our sport. It will be a fantastic event!”
For more information contact – firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)161 850 0012
AJ Bell World Squash Championship: 26th October to 3rd November 2013
This will be the second time Manchester has played host to the event; the first being during the World Sport 2008 series of events that were a legacy from the Commonwealth Games in 2002.
The heat stage of the event will be held at the National Squash Centre, Sport City with the final weekend at Manchester Central. Tickets are now on sale phone 0844 847 2508 or visit the website at www.AJBellworldsquashchamps.co.uk
AJ Bell was formed in 1995 and is one of the largest providers of low cost, online investment platforms and stockbroker services in the UK, with assets under administration exceeding £19.3 billion and more than 78,000 clients.
AJ Bell is owned by its management team and two institutional investors in Invesco Perpetual and Miton Group plc.
AJ Bell’s customer proposition – Market leading, low cost, transparent, service, value, choice, leading functionality, integrity, award winning.
AJ Bell’s business – Helps people to invest, market leaders, growing, innovative, profitable, don’t provide advice or investment management.
Manchester continues to strengthen its impressive reputation for attracting major international sports championships. In 2012, the City was named 5th in the Ultimate Sports City List, and No.1 city with a population of under one million. In 2013 Manchester will host several major sports events, including the Men’s World Squash Championship, the Rugby League World Cup Final, NBA Europe Live and the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup. These events raise the city’s global sporting profile, whilst bringing long-term social and economic benefits to Manchester and its residents. The City’s excellent range of accessible sports venues and facilities, combined with its school and community sports development programmes, provide the springboard for Manchester’s sporting stars of the future.
Visit www.manchester.gov.uk/sportsevents for more information.
England Squash & Racketball is the national governing body, responsible for the development and promotion from grass roots to elite performance. Nearly 500,000 people play squash on a regular basis and ESR promotes squash and racketball with national campaigns around the country, junior development and also leading international tournaments such as the British Junior Open, British Open and PSA World Men’s Championship in 2013. Sport can make lives better for individuals, families and whole communities and through the Squash and Racketball Foundation, there is the chance to play squash and racketball at the heart of their community.
The Big Hit is a national campaign by England Squash & Racketball running throughout 2013 to encourage more people to get involved and play squash and racketball both for fun and fitness.
The Big Hit Tour visits 10 cities across the year including Manchester, Birmingham and London giving you the chance to try squash and racketball for free. Thebighit.net website is the place to go to find your nearest session and get all of the latest news and special offers.
UK Sport’s Gold Event Series distributes approximately £5 million of Lottery funding each year to support the bidding and staging costs of major events on home soil, as well as providing specialist support to organisers. Events are supported for their likely performance impact, but also to maximise the wider sporting, social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits.
The Gold Event Series will aim to bring over 70 of the world’s most prestigious sporting events to the UK, including 36 World and European Championships. This ambitious programme will support British athletes’ preparation and qualification for Rio 2016, while generating approximately £287 million of additional expenditure in host cities and regions and bringing over 250,000 overseas visitors to the UK. Events already secured include 2017 World Athletics Championships and 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. More @ www.uksport.gov.uk/events
The Professional Squash Association (PSA) promotes the interests of men’s professional squash globally. The PSA’s aim is to advance the game by ensuring that the PSA World Tour is the ultimate showcase of the sport’s pinnacle events. The PSA have over 500 members worldwide and stage more than 120 events across five continents. The PSA’s vision is that squash is recognised as the most athletic, demanding and exciting racket sport in the world.
Squash TV is the PSA’s online squash channel broadcasting over 300 live matches in 2012.
Watch PSA squash Live on the Internet: www.psasquashtv.com