8:50am Saturday 26th May 2012
Exclusive By Adam Summers
WEYMOUTH Football Club has pulled off a lucrative five-figure sponsorship deal with the Riviera Hotel at Bowleaze Cove.
The one-year deal, which includes an option for a second year, has provided a huge boost for the Terras as they continue to look to rebuild their reputation in the area following four years of decline.
Since Nigel Biddlecombe’s take-over back at the end of February, the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division outfit has been working around the clock to build bridges in the local community and the lifelong fan has branded this latest breakthrough as a major step in the club’s ongoing recovery.
Club chairman Biddlecombe told Echosport: “We are all absolutely delighted with this link-up but Glenn Taylor has been the driving force on this particular agreement with the Riviera Hotel and he deserves full credit for his efforts, as does Iain Stone who works with him.
“It is a fantastic tie up, not only for Weymouth FC and the Riviera but for the whole town as well as it benefits our community ethos moving forward.
“The provision of training facilities such as the gym and the pool obviously adds another arrow to our bow but there are other ideas in the pipeline too where both businesses can work in conjunction to provide more community offers and events.
“It is also a deal that shows we are moving forward as a club and trying to put the dark days behind us.
“There is a bright future ahead of us and hopefully this latest link-up will enable other businesses in the town to see that is not just words but it is factual.”
First-team manager Brendon King has also welcomed the support and is looking forward to having a long and fruitful partnership with the three-star hotel.
He added: “The Riviera has undergone a massive refurbishment and is looking fantastic, and this link-up is ideal for both parties.
“The fact the squad will be able to use the newly-refurbished leisure centre facilities is a huge bonus, particularly in the winter months, and I would like to thank Kevin Bungay, the manager over there, for all his support and help in making this happen.
“The fact that such a big local business like the Riviera is now supporting the club is fantastic news and hopefully many more will now follow.”
Following a £4 million refurbishment, the Riviera reopened last month and now boasts newly-decorated rooms with en-suite bathrooms and the brand new Bowleaze Restaurant, which can seat up to 200 people and is open to both residents and the general public.
Current owners the Dhiafah Group, which now own more than 18 hotels worldwide, funded the project and Riviera general manager Bungay is looking forward to a blossoming relationship with the Terras.
He said: “It is really important for both the Riviera and Weymouth FC to re-establish ourselves in the community and this link-up will hopefully help both businesses do that.
“We are both up and coming and we both want local people to come and take advantage of what we have on offer and it is that shared goal that has brought us together.
“We are very proud to be in partnership and hopefully it will prove a fruitful one for a long time to come.”
Another encouraging sign for the Terras has come in the form of season-ticket sales. Biddlecombe added: “On last count we had already sold 118 season tickets and as I understand it that number is continuing to rise.
“That number includes the £99 people, many of which have purchased shares to make up their contribution to the Early Bird Price.
“Not only does season-ticket sales help us get through the summer but it also gives supporters value for money and allows them to see first-team and reserve-team football for a really good price.
“The fact we have sold 118-plus already is absolutely fantastic.”
The Terras are also looking to start an under-18s side next season. Biddlecombe said: “It will be an academy-type team with games every two or three weeks, and we are already talking with Dorset FA representatives who are proposing a league for this particular purpose.
“We feel this would provide an ideal stepping stone for the best under-18s in the district towards the reserves and the first team.”
For further information about sponsorship opportunities and season tickets at the Terras contact the club on 785558.
More details about the Riviera Hotel can be found at rivierahotel lweymouth.co.uk
* Terras season-ticket prices 2012/13 – Purchased before 5pm on May 31: Adult £170, concessions £130, car park pass £20.
Purchased before 5pm on June 30: Adult £190, concessions £140, car park pass £20.
Purchased from July 1 to start of the season: Adult £200, concessions £150, car park pass £20.
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