Barclays plots ‘creative’ Premiership sponsorship

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Barclays will offer free tickets to children watching their first Premiership football match and give out pies to fans under plans to exploit the extension of its sponsorship of the Premier League.

Group marketing director Jim Hytner says the plans are part of a strategy to get "more creative", adding that it needs to do more to leverage the sponsorship.

The high street bank has paid 65m to extend its title sponsorship of English football’s top tier from the 2007/8 season through to 2010. Barclays will also sponsor the Premier League’s official pre-season tournament, the Premier League Asia Trophy, under the new deal.

Barclays has sponsored the Premier League for the last three seasons. Before that, Barclaycard was the sponsor from 2001 to 2004. The high street bank is also involved in the Barclays Spaces for Sports programme, a 30m initiative to create sports facilities across the UK.

Hytner says: "It has been a huge success externally and internally with our staff, but we need to get more creative exploiting it."

The bank will introduce a programme called Barclays Debuts, where children who have never visited a Premiership stadium will be allowed to see a game for free when accompanied by a fee-paying parent.

Barclays will also host a string of pie parties across the country, with free pastries being served at its Spaces for Sports venues.

Hytner says the high street bank is also plotting a number of interactive advertising campaigns and competitions for fans.

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