AFC Emley’s Welfare Ground will be renamed the Fantastic Media Welfare Ground in an historic naming rights deal between the club and the Birstall-based integrated marketing agency.

The naming rights come into effect this Saturday for AFC Emley’s home game against Yorkshire Amateur in the Toolstation Northern Counties East Football League Division One.

The deal is a rolling contract between the club and the marketing agency and the fee for the naming rights remains undisclosed. 

The agreement came after a chance meeting between AFC Emley President, Dan Brownhill, and Fantastic Media Managing Director, Andy Hobson who was at the Welfare Ground watching his relative and AFC Emley Under 19 goalkeeper, George Kitchen.

Fantastic Media, celebrating its tenth year as one of the region’s leading marketing agencies, has a history of sports sponsorship and has been involved with a number of professional football clubs across the region in the past decade, most prominently at the John Smith’s Stadium, home of Huddersfield Town FC, where they have been sponsors of the family stand since 2008.

It is the first time in AFC Emley’s history that they have had a ground sponsor. Very few clubs at the non-League level have brokered ground sponsorships with prominent local companies and the move is indicative of the professionalism that the commitee that runs AFC Emley has injected into the club in recent years.

It is hoped that in attracting a business with the profile of Fantastic Media, other local businesses will follow suit.

President Dan Brownhill said: “To sign up such a well-known and well-regarded company is a huge boost to the club. Yes it helps the bank balance but it also shows we’re on the right path with how we play and how we do things at Emley. We’re also hopeful the tie-up with Fantastic will also encourage other businesses to see what we’re about and look to get involved.”

Andy Hobson from Fantastic Media said: “I knew from coming to watch Emley and from speaking to people that it is a terrific club and one that is very well run by the club officials, so for us, it was an opportunity to get involved in with a great club at a grass roots level.

“We’re well known in the region for being involved in sports sponsorship and marketing. We’ve been involved with clubs in the region for many years and this year we’re supporting England Women’s captain Steph Houghton and Andrew Gale, YCCC Captain for his benefit year.

“Our support of Emley is different to anything we’ve done before. It’s more about what we can do to assist them in whatever way we can – whether that’s through attracting other businesses to get involved or bring new supporters in.”

l to r Al Straughan, Fantastic Media - Dan Brownhill, President AFC Emley - Andy Hobson, MD Fantastic Media
Al Straughan, Fantastic Media; Dan Brownhill, president AFC Emley and Andy Hobson, MD Fantastic Media

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