Swanage and Herston FC offers local firms chance to strike it lucky

A Purbeck company could get to emulate the likes of Nike, American Express or Etihad Airways with their name on the front of the town football club’s shirt, and all for a bargain price of just £75.

In an innovative scheme to involve small businesses at an affordable cost, Swanage Town and Herston FC is selling raffle tickets for a patrons’ draw with a number of high profile prizes.


A chance to sponsor the shirts of Swanage Town and Herston FC for the cost of a raffle ticket

Any company can try for just £75

The overall winner will get its company name on the shirts of the first team squad as they battle for glory in the Dorset Premier League for the 2024/25 season.

Further winners will get their name on the reserve team shirts which plays in Dorset League Division Two, on the away kit, on warm-up tops for the first team and the reserves, their name on a pitch side board, and on a matchday programme, along with other prizes.

While Purbeck’s largest firms are being invited to take part, any company is free to try their luck with a £75 ticket, meaning that even sole traders could be the lucky business to be on the Swans’ shirts for the season.

Tickets will be on sale right up until the draw on Saturday 8th June 2024 at a buffet and drinks evening at the club, where everyone who has entered will be invited to watch the draw.


Swans’ star player Charlie Dyke on the ball against Sturminster Newton FC

“Cost effective way to get great publicity”

Andy Dunster, chair of Swanage Town and Herston FC said:

“It could be a really cost effective way for a small company to get their names on our shirts along with some great publicity for a small outlay. We are delighted that a lot of smaller firms have shown interest in taking up the opportunity.

“To go out and get three companies who are willing to spend £750 each on kits is not easy especially during the current financial situation, not every company has that much extra money to spend.

“Rather than trying to get lots of money out of people we thought it might be easier to ask for £75 entry into a draw with great odds of actually winning something.

“This way, if we can get 30 companies into the patrons’ draw we cover the cost of all the kits – and hopefully we can get more entrants and fund the warm-up tops and other important equipment for the club as well.”


Swanage reserves star Sam Willcocks takes aim at Piddlehinton United’s goal

Football club now has 22 teams

Swanage Town and Herston FC had a successful 2023/24 season, finishing mid table in the Dorset Premier League, while general interest in the club has exploded in the last three years.

Since the end of the Covid pandemic, the club has gone from having two senior teams and four youth teams to having 22 teams in total, in youth, men and women’s leagues, with some younger age years having three boys and girls teams.

Meanwhile, the women’s team which has been playing in friendly leagues for the past three seasons is about to start in a competitive league next season and the walking football team is also making huge strides forward.


Swanage Town and Herston FC has seen a huge interest in its girls’ and women’s teams

Decided to try a new idea

Andy Dunster added:

“There are now four different girls’ teams in four different age groups – women’s football has gone from strength to strength and girls are now just as interested in playing football as the boys.

“For all our youth teams, the club provides a great service, keeping them off the Playstations – but it’s not only the exercise, it’s also a lesson in playing as part of a team, in discipline and comradeship.

“For the past two seasons, the first and reserve teams have been sponsored by Kingston Contractors, but we have decided to give something new a go and see whether we can bring some extra money in to cover all of our kits.

“We would also love to interest some new companies in working with us and getting involved with the town’s football club. We know that not everyone has a lot of spare money at the moment, but we are hopeful of a good response to the scheme.”

Anyone wanting to get involved with the patrons’ draw and support their local football club can buy raffle tickets by emailing Andy Dunster via andy@purbeckitchens.co.uk

Barcelona FC

FC Barcelona is the only club to pay for a name to go on its shirts, when it signed a contract with global charity Unicef

Club told to destroy the offending kit

The idea of football shirt sponsorship began in 1976 with, of all clubs, lowly Kettering Town who cut a deal with the town’s local tyre company to put its name on their shirts – although the club was subsequently fined by the FA and ordered to destroy the offending kit.

But once the genie was out of the lamp there was no turning back, as Coventry City turned to Talbot for sponsorship, followed by Derby County and Saab teaming up, before Liverpool cut a huge deal with Japanese electronics giant Hitachi.

Despite attempts by the FA to fine teams who wore advertising in front of the cameras, the deals were too rich for clubs to be put off, and by 1987 every league club had a shirt sponsorship deal.

Today, companies like Standard Chartered (Liverpool), Team Viewer (Manchester United) and Etihad Airways (Manchester City) all pay upwards of £50 million a season to have their names on the clubs’ shirts.


Prize giving night for the Swans’ football club, now looking for new businesses to help it take the next step forward

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