Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Pompey try to pinch our sponsors

The following story has appeared in The Guardian:

Charlton Athletic have named and shamed Portsmouth in front of their Premiership peers for attempting to poach the Addicks' £1.5m-a-year title sponsor. Charlton's commercial director Steve Sutherland sent an email last Monday to his counterparts at every top-flight club to expose the machinations of Alan Kimber, Pompey's sponsorship and advertising manager. Kimber had contacted Llanera, a Spanish property company with a £6.6m deal to sponsor Charlton's shirts until at least 2010, offering 'an opportunity to maintain marketing exposure in the Premiership next season in the event of Charlton being relegated'.

But in an unfortunate twist for Kimber, the email was sent to Llanera UK's managing director, Emilio Teresa, while he was in Spain with Charlton's chief executive, Peter Varney. Teresa immediately tipped Varney off and it was decided that the Premiership should be warned about Pompey's tactics. Kimber, who Portsmouth say is currently on holiday, also mentioned that his club pride themselves in "not targeting some of the down-market brands traditionally associated with football".

Sutherland could not believe what he was reading. In an email entitled "Interesting Approach!", he wrote: "Why waste time putting in the effort to research the sponsorship market and make time-wasting presentations to potential partners when you can simply contact someone else's partner, preferably a club fighting relegation and get them to move across? Brilliant."


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