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Activating our partnerships


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Details of how the club's commercial team works with its partnerships to achieve maximal results.

The Objectives

  • Grow market presence
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Utilise events and hospitality to build business relationships

Property finance providers MSP Capital were looking to grow their market presence outside of their southern stronghold and increase awareness of their products and services within their industry sector.

A key objective for the business was to better utilise corporate events and hospitality to prospect new business as well as nurture existing relationships.

The Activation

  • Front of shirt sponsor
  • Bespoke package across broadcast, digital and print media
  • Matchday hospitality and VIP events
  • CSR activation within the community 

AFC Bournemouth offered MSP Capital the opportunity to be the club’s front of shirt sponsor. We created a bespoke package that offered impactful exposure through broadcast, digital and print media.

We aligned these activations with their business goals to make sure MSP Capital received maximum value for their investment. These tailored activations included relevant social media campaigns and matchday fan engagement through a shirt giveaway in conjunction with our new matchday streaming service.

The commercial package also includes matchday hospitality and VIP events to help MSP achieve their objectives of prospecting and nurturing clients, as well as a CSR campaign to allow them to give back to their community through collaborating with the football club in refurbishing a local community facility. 

The Outcome 

  • 198% increase in web traffic month on month
  • 2,514% increase in referral traffic month on month
  • Rise in brand credibility
  • Boost in staff morale

Within the first week of launching the partnership, MSP Capital reported an increase in web traffic of 198% and 2,514% in referral traffic compared to the previous month. They also found the partnership had an immediate impact on their staff morale, with employees reporting that they felt excited by the partnership and proud to work for the business.

The association with AFC Bournemouth was also seen to boost the business’s credibility with directors telling the club “It has shown us as a serious player in the market.”

Adam Tovey, valuations director MSP explained further: "We are incredibly proud to be supporting our local football club, as lifelong Cherries fans. The team at AFC Bournemouth has really spent the time to get to know our business and our goals and proactively work with us to leverage the partnership.

“The initial results have been really positive and we look forward to what the rest of this season delivers for both AFCB and MSP."

The Objectives

  • Formalise an existing relationship
  • Provide students with unique opportunities
  • Recruit domestic and international students

As two of the most internationally recognised organisations in Dorset, the relationship between Bournemouth University and AFC Bournemouth had been an unofficial one until 2012, collaborations having been ad-hoc and uncoordinated.

The university wanted to formalise this relationship and provide their students with unique opportunities to work with the football club, while both organisations wanted to work together to help enhance each other’s profiles. This desire to work and grow together was instrumental in taking the partnership to the next step.

The Activation

  • Developed an official partnership with clear pathways for academic projects
  • New internships developed for students
  • Brand designation used to boost exposure for BU
  • BU sponsored the women’s and girls’ programmes

Both BU and the club developed an official partnership with clear lines of communication that allowed both parties to effectively coordinate academic projects and student engagement initiatives through much more efficient processes.

A tailored package was created which combined these academic projects with the university’s desire to enhance their impact within their local community. The package included internship opportunities for BU students, giving them incredibly unique experiences that will help them develop their careers after they leave education.

Bournemouth University were made an official partner of AFC Bournemouth’s girls and women’s football programme, allowing the university to have meaningful impact in one of their key areas of development: women’s sport.

The Outcome

  • New internships provided academic support and insight for the football club
  • Bournemouth University’s brand has reached 174 territories across the world through their broadcasting designation
  • Engagement with the local community through the extensive events calendar

The academic research and student projects conducted each year are mutually beneficial to the university and the football club and students have provided key insights and assistance in areas including business development, sponsorship, physiotherapy and sports science.

In the years since the partnership began, BU have benefited massively from the TV and media exposure, helping to support their growth.

The joint events run by the club throughout the year stand out in our calendars as key dates, and whether it is educating our junior members or entertaining the crowds on a matchday, this partnership is the perfect example of how two organisations can collaborate and make a difference.

The Objectives

  • Communicate an organisational rebrand
  • Capture new members
  • Encourage customers to lead a healthier life

Vitality, one of the countries leading health insurance companies, had recently rebranded from Pru-Health and needed to generate brand exposure on a national scale in order to communicate this change and promote their products and services.

Vitality’s mission is to encourage their customers to lead a healthier life, and they incentivise their members to become more active through earning unique rewards in return for exercise. As a brand Vitality wanted to not only capture new members but also broadcast their message to a national audience.

The Activation

  • Stadium naming rights
  • Alignment with the AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust
  • Match tickets and one-of-a-kind experiences for staff and members

AFC Bournemouth offered Vitality the stadium naming rights to deliver their objectives of increasing brand awareness.

In accordance with Vitality’s mission to promote healthy living, the football club aligned the brand with the AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust, who they became headline partners of. This allows Vitality to reach out to the community and spread their message.

Vitality also benefitted from match tickets, hospitality opportunities and VIP experiences for staff and members including training ground tours and meet and greets with the manager.

The Outcome

  • Over £1m a season in media value
  • An incentivised work force and local membership base
  • National brand recognition

The partnership has delivered over £1m in media value each season for Vitality. The business has been able to leverage the partnership to incentivise members and employees, with the VIP event activations providing money-can’t-buy experiences.

The association with the club has built Vitality’s brand across the UK and helped them become a national leader in health and life insurance.

The Objectives

  • Brand exposure
  • Increase awareness of their services 
  • To give back to the community and focus more on education

Strategic Solutions were looking for ways to increase their brand exposure and awareness of their services within the local area. They were also keen to investigate new ways in which they could give back to the community, focussing on educating children and teenagers on financial services.

The Activation

  • Offering a bespoke package
  • Providing a platform for a digital presence (Goal of the Month)
  • Opportunity to network with local businesses
  • Workshops and seminars provided to AFC Bournemouth’s Academy

AFC Bournemouth worked with Strategic Solutions to build a bespoke package that suited their objectives. This included using the club’s digital platforms to increase brand exposure. The partnership also provided the perfect opportunity to network with local business through the numerous events throughout the year.

To achieve Strategic Solution’s objective to educate young adults, AFC Bournemouth arranged for the business to provide workshops and seminars to the academy, helping the clubs young players safeguard their financial futures.

The Outcome

  • Digital engagement 
  • Increase in local business connections
  • Supporting AFC Bournemouth’s Academy and youth teams
  • Opportunity to entertain and nurture client relationships through matchday experiences

The goal of the month content activation with Strategic Solutions has proven to be one of the most watched videos across the AFC Bournemouth social media channels while the work with the academy has supported countless players in their professional development.

The club has provided hospitality opportunities that have been used to nurture client relationships and the networking events hosted at the club have generated new business for Strategic Solutions while increasing their connections within the business community.

The Objectives

  • Expand audience reach
  • Increase awareness of products and services
  • Give back to the community
  • Engage with a wide range of local businesses

With both Yellow Buses and AFC Bournemouth important institutions serving the town for well over a century, the connection between the two were a key aspect for both parties.

By working together, both organisations were able to broaden their reach and help solidify their places at the heart of the community in Bournemouth.

The Activation

  • Opportunity to engage with local schools
  • Contribute to the safety of the local community
  • Opportunity to create positive stories
  • Network and make connections with local businesses

By being a partner of AFC Bournemouth’s Community Sports Trust for over five years now, Yellow Buses sponsors the Soccer Safety schools programme, which is delivered to children across Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset.

The lessons are designed to help educate children and young people on how to be safe when travelling within the local community, with a Cherries player joining mascot Buste Bear in delivering the workshops in schools.

The workshops look closely at using different modes of transport such as buses, cars, cycle bikes and travel by foot, identifying the dos and don’ts in certain situations.

The Outcome

  • Supporting the education of the future generation
  • Nurture and build existing business relationships
  • Increased exposure through supporter and community engagement

Yellow Buses carries just under 15 million passengers on their bus fleet of 131 vehicles with Fiona Harwood, marketing sales manager of Yellow Buses, speaking about the boost Yellow Buses have received from the partnership. 

“Both Yellow Buses and AFC Bournemouth are very much part of the community, based here in Bournemouth, and it’s great to be able to extend our partnership and deliver these projects into schools.

“The children are our future customers and via this programme we are be able to provide them with the safety tips they need. They are able to learn in a fun environment both inside the classroom and out.”

The problem

  • Brand exposure
  • Increase awareness of available courses, apprenticeships and career opportunities
  • Engage with businesses and the local community

Bournemouth & Poole College were looking for ways to increase their brand exposure and awareness of their services within the local area. They were also keen to investigate new ways in which they could give back to the community, make youngsters aware of career pathways and engage with relevant local businesses. 

The solution

  • Offering a tailored package
  • Providing support digitally through campaigns and club content
  • Including signed merchandise and matchday packages to run as giveaways
  • Opportunity to connect and build relationships with businesses
  • Offering the younger generation a pathway to learn and progress

Bournemouth & Poole College have a great relationship with the club and its Community Sports Trust, who work closely with the younger community. They continue to sponsor the Premier League Kicks programme in the Poole region for the 2020/21 season, a project which offers free football and additional opportunities to over 1,000 young people locally a year.

By working closely with the trust and individuals who are at a crucial stage in deciding their future, Bournemouth & Poole College offer a platform to showcase their wide range of courses available offering multiple career paths.

Additionally, their branding is visible on our digital platforms, with the college sponsoring all ‘On This Day’ features, which go out on club social media channels. The short videos have the college’s branding attached to them and is seen by thousands of different people with every post.

The outcome

  • Digital collaboration and engagement reaching the wider community
  • Increase local business connections
  • Supporting the local community
  • Hosted and celebrated the achievements of students and apprentices

The ‘On This Day’ content activation with Bournemouth & Poole College has proven to be one of the most watched features across the AFC Bournemouth social media channels, with clips regularly gaining over 10,000 views on both Twitter and Facebook.

Out in the community, 721 young people aged between 8-19 years old have already taken part in the Premier League Kicks sessions, offering the college the opportunity to remain engaged with the community in such uncertain times.

Additionally, the club have also put on virtual networking events throughout lockdown, meaning that Bournemouth & Poole College have been able to increase their local connections within the business community.


  • Further promote the testament of healthy hydration
  • Reinforce reputation as leading hydration company
  • Provide healthy hydration with safe dispensing in line with Covid-19 guidelines for the men’s, women’s and Academy teams
  • Drive shared sustainability goals with the club

iPRO is a leading brand in healthy hydration and the official hydration partner for multiple established sporting organisations globally.

To further promote the testament of healthy hydration, iPRO partnered with AFC Bournemouth as the ‘official hydration and sports drink partner’ to support and supply both the men’s and women’s first teams with their Informed Sport-approved hydration drinks, as well as the Academy and youth teams having access to iPRO’s healthy hydration beverages.

The Activation

  • Official hydration and sports drink partner
  • Front of shirt sponsor for under-21s
  • Display sustainability and health-led advertising campaigns at Vitality Stadium
  • Digital presence to support the club
  • Provide branded hardware to support successful and safe hydration - issuing reusable hygiene water bottles for individual players and iPRO cooler boxes

Sustainability is a shared focus for both the club and iPRO, therefore during the term of the partnership there was a strong emphasis on driving shared sustainability goals and encouraging the use of reusable products where possible.


  • Successful and safe hydration support and supply to all sections of the club
  • Players benefit from access to a market-leading healthy hydration brand to support their performance
  • Engagement with Cherries fans via merchandise giveaways on digital platforms
  • Increased presence through match day LED advertising
  • Supporting the AFC Bournemouth Academy and youth teams

The partnerships allows the players to maintain optimal hydration during training and on matchdays as well as to include hydration as part of their recovery.

iPRO are able to engage with supporters through various campaigns and competitions as well as having visibility through matchday advertising.

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