Sale Sharks has signed up to a new long-term partnership with online electricals store, AO, which will see the Bolton-based retailer take over as the club’s principal front of shirt sponsor.
AO will also work closely with the Sharks Community Trust, the club’s charitable arm, to create and launch ‘Are you AO-K?’, a life-changing mental health programme in schools across the North West.
And the South Stand at Sharks’ AJ Bell Stadium will also be re-named and branded as the AO Stand, as part of the multi-year deal.
Sharks CEO Sid Sutton said: “Everyone at the club is so excited to welcome AO to the Sharks family. I have no doubt that this is a partnership that’s going to drive the club onto the next level both on and off the pitch. We’re embarking on a new era for the club and we want to work alongside partners who we can grow with and who share our ambition, our passion for the north and our values.
“AO puts its customers and the community at the heart of everything they do in the same way that we put our supporters right at the centre of every decision we take. The long-term commitment is a sign that both the club and AO believe strongly in the value and the potential of this partnership.”
Sharks fans won’t have long to wait to see the famous AO smile on the new 2021/22 kit, and work on the stadium re-branding will start straight away ahead of the new season.
And the AO influence on the supporter matchday experience won’t stop there – ahead of the new season the team are working on special giveaways, half-time activations on the pitch and promotions outside the stadium before after fixtures.
Vicky Monk, director of customer and brand at AO said: “We’re investing hugely in our brand this year and our partnership with Sale Sharks is a big part of that strategy. We are really looking forward to working closely together with the Trust to create and launch a highly impactful mental health programme to local schools in our region. It’s a topic that’s close to many of our hearts after the last 18 months and we’re proud to be able to play a part in making a difference for young people across the North West.”