Bmibaby, the British Midland-owned budget airline, has signed up as the head- line sponsor of the UK’s Ice Hockey Elite League. The seven-year package is the league’s first sponsorship deal.
The league, which includes ten teams across the UK and Northern Ireland, will be renamed as the Bmibaby Elite Ice Hockey League and the deal will also include branding in stadiums.
The airline is expected to support the deal with a marketing campaign, which will highlight its low-cost fares to fans travelling between matches. Bmibaby marketing director David Hodge says: “The location of the league’s clubs is perfect for bmibaby, geographically covering the regions that we serve.”
The deal enables bmibaby to extend its sports sponsorship beyond football, where it has deals with Leicester City, Nottingham Forest, Derby County and Cardiff City.
Bmibaby launched in January 2002 and operates more than 50 routes to 18 European destinations.
The airline’s &£5m advertising account is held by Euro RSCG, which retained the business without a pitch last year (MW 25 August, 2005).