Our leading article in this month’s In the Loop is an exclusive interview we held with Gary Neville, talking business, football and what drives him to keep achieving.
With a stellar football career already carved in stone on his CV, Gary has gone on to flourish as an entrepreneur, property developer, TV pundit and football club director at Salford FC.
He’s an impressive individual who demonstrates that with resilience, determination, energy and focus, you can have more than one successful career in your lifetime and pursue several interesting paths, if you put your mind to it. And he's still only 44.
I hope you find the interview as inspiring as I did.
My sponsorship journey so far
I first met Gary in a business context when he approached us to see whether Peninsula would be interested in sponsoring Salford FC’s stadium.
I have deep connections to Salford myself—it was where I was born, brought up and still live, and Peninsula’s offices are located only a few miles away from the ground.
So a sponsorship relationship made a lot of sense for both parties.
As Gary says, sponsorship isn’t just about a badge above the door. You need to find links that reflect the shared values and objectives of the two organisations.
In Salford and Peninsula’s cases, I’d like to think it is resilience, hard work, a will to win, fair play and a commitment to excellence in all we do.
It’s been a fantastic relationship, from the day we signed to deal, to the day Sir Alex Ferguson opened the Peninsula Stadium flanked by Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, to 11th May 2019 when, at Wembley, Salford were promoted to league two for the first time in their history with a win against Fylde FC.
Sponsorship for the community
As a business owner, sponsorship is definitely something to think about. It doesn’t have to be something on the scale of a Salford FC—we also sponsor a lot of local clubs and initiatives including my grandson’s Under 13's team, which costs very little but brings massive benefits to the community.
I’ve listed the top three reasons why I believe sponsorship is a win-win investment for businesses of all sizes:
- Customer experience is everything. In an age where social media sets the pace, sporting events, whether large or small, draw in hundreds if not thousands of people as participants, spectators, helpers and stewards. Associating your brand with “feel good” moments connects people to your company and humanises your business as well as increasing your brand visibility, potentially helping lead generation and sales.
- Business and employee relationships. Sponsoring a sport enables corporate opportunities for clients and potential clients as well as providing, on tap, fantastic treats for employees. As a company we have had some brilliant moments taking clients to Salford whilst our employees feel they’ve been on the journey to promotion along with the team themselves.
- Corporate and social responsibility. Getting involved in the local community through sponsorship enhances your reputation and credibility and can help to attract employees as well as improve employee engagement. But don’t just pay lip service to CSR. Do it because it’s the right thing to do.
So whatever your sport or your passion, why not look into possible opportunities? And enjoy the interview. It’s a must watch.