Supporting grassroots football in Sheffield
First South Yorkshire are proud sponsors of the Sheffield and District Junior Sunday Football League. This is a three-way partnership between First Bus South Yorkshire, the Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the Sheffield and District Junior Sunday League.
We approached the League back in 2017 about a sponsorship package to engage the young players (under 7 to under 16s) in the League to use the bus service more, and to enable us to give back to the local community.
Most recently, we implemented a project to have club logos placed in the backs of our buses. This helped promote awareness of the sponsorship as clubs had to submit the high definition logos to First for them to appear. The next round of awareness and promotion will see competitions run around those spotting the buses.
Over 89 different club’s badges are on display, not only promoting the partnership between us and the league but crucially the local clubs in the area are benefiting from increased awareness with this mobile advertising, with many clubs starting to see increased inquiries about players joining them. Players and parents are regular bus spotting to see their club bus and with the hope their bus is on their bus route that day. The League is benefiting as other clubs are asking about joining the League. Additionally, the League has seen increased social media comments when people post pictures of buses they have spotted.
The sponsorship has not only created 30,000 bus spotters (players, parents, grandparents) looking for their club badge, but it has enabled a League funding scheme to be created which has facilitated coaching course to be purchased for club volunteers to up-skill them. It has also allowed a player hardship fund to be created to allow those players who are unable to pay their club subscription fees to be covered, allowing them to play and enjoy themselves. Funding requests have been granted for defibrillators, referee courses and pitch improvement. The benefit of the funding has been wide reaching and a welcome benefit to all.
The sponsorship supports a small charity that supports Sheffield Children’s Hospital, with £10,000 of the sponsorship package being directly given to the hospital each year. Most people haven’t heard of the Children’s Hospital Charity and yet they have more patient journeys than Great Ormond Street despite raising less than a 30th of what they do. They are one of the busiest paediatric hospitals in the country, performing over 450,000 procedures each year.
First South Yorkshire’s sponsorship of the Sheffield & District Junior Sunday Football League has also received national recognition at this year’s UK Sponsorship Award, with the Small Budget Award going to First South Yorkshire, in partnership with Sheffield & District Junior Sunday League and Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Allan Riggall, Commercial Director at First South Yorkshire, said: “We’re proud to be the official league sponsor of the Sheffield & District Junior Sunday Football League and to be doing our bit to support grassroots football. We’re committed to investing in our communities and encouraging more young people to travel by bus and it’s fantastic to receive this latest accolade.”
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