Football League steps up pursuit of global sponsors

The Football League is stepping up efforts to grow its global sponsorship income by promoting its head of marketing to a new strategic partnerships role and taking on several commercial executives.

Portsmouth FC v Cardiff

The League is building a commercial team to drive revenue for its clubs through sponsorship of grassroots initiatives and digital campaigns with global commercial partners.

Activity is being led by chief commercial officer, Richard Heaselgrave, who will work alongside former head of marketing David Malkinson who was promoted to head of strategic marketing and partnerships.

It is the latest phase of the League’s push to court commercial partners that are not purely UK-centric, such as its current roster of sponsors, which include Npower, Carling and Johnstone’s Paint.

The Football League, which distributes money it collects from sponsors to member clubs, hopes the increase in headcount will help it to accrue some of the £23m it will lose when its new television rights deal with BSkyB launches at the start of the 2012/13 season.

The governing body of the Championship, League One and League Two is also close to finding a sponsor for the Football League Cup to replace Carling, which has come to the end of its three year exclusive deal, according to Richard Heaselgrave, who was appointed commercial director in October.

The League wants to talk to brands with “global aspirations”, which it says the UK-centric Carling does not have, to take advantage of the competition’s increased exposure overseas.

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