Plymouth RaidersThe Plymouth Raiders are delighted to announce that they have signed a 3 year sponsorship deal with University College Plymouth St Mark & St John. Under terms of the deal, the team will now be known as UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders.

“It’s fantastic news,” said Raiders Chairman Bob Widdecombe. “Both UCP Marjon and ourselves have very similar goals, and with our schools coaching programme, we’re working with UCP Marjon’s target audience across Devon and Cornwall. It makes a lot of sense for us both to work together on initiatives and help each other as much as we can. We’re already discussing other areas of support with UCP Marjon, and things are looking very positive indeed.”

The Raiders will be entering their sixth season in the UK’s premier basketball league the BBL this September, with a new coach and a new look team. The sponsorship deal with UCP Marjon means that the team will have a new name as well.

“With the economic climate the way that it is,” added Widdecombe, “companies are finding it harder and harder to justify spending large sums of money on sport sponsorship. But everyone at UCP Marjon was exceptionally positive from the moment that we started talking to them. We’ve been lucky enough to sign a sponsorship deal with a partner who will not only help us develop the club on court but off court as well.

Vice Principal at UCP Marjon, Karen Cook said of the partnership ‘We are delighted to be sponsoring the club.  Not only are the Raiders among one of the elite basketball teams in the country, they also share UCP Marjon’s commitment to the community and to raising aspirations of students across the region.  We look forward to working with the club on their Hoops 4 Health programme and their Sports Enterprise Scheme.  These popular outreach programmes inspire the future generation to participate in sport; recognise the benefits of teamwork; the value of a good education; and the belief that they can achieve their goals.  With UCP Marjon’s fantastic reputation for sport, and the Raiders going from strength to strength I am sure that we’ll make a great team.’

Sponsorship of basketball clubs is a little different to that of football or other sports in that the sponsor’s name is incorporated in the team name. “It’s a fantastic way of taking the UCP Marjon name around the UK,” said Raiders Chief Executive Dave Briggs. “We’ll be able to give them significant publicity throughout the country. Both UCP Marjon and ourselves have worked really hard on getting this done, and it’s been great to work with such an enthusiastic and positive organisation.”

UCP Marjo have recently completed their £12 million sports centre development and this will soon be open to the public. “The new facilities there are second to none,” added Widdecombe. “We were given a tour a week or so ago, and left extremely impressed with everything that they’re putting in place. For a team like ourselves, playing in the top league in country, to have the backing of UCP Marjon with their new facilities, is a fantastic opportunity for us.”