Towards the end of June, CAS Trust Liaison officer Ken Sinyard managed to grab a few minutes with Ben Kensell (CAFC), and Paul Wood and Steve Reeve of Addicks' shirt sponsor Andres Sykes to talk about the new deal and find out a little bit more about the sponsor company
Andrews have had a connection with Charlton since 1928, as a business and has it’s largest hub division in Charlton - literally across the road on the local trading estate. Having had a box at CAFC for a while and having had a successful year as CAFC’s shirt sponsor last year, the high profile deal for club and business was launched for a second year with a new first team shirt, and away kit.
Ben Kensell came to the Valley earlier this year, the shirt deal is the result of his first major project since joining from fellow London football club Arsenal.
The original deal was put together by Steve Kavanagh.. there were others parties interested [this year], and we discussed those possibilities, but it soon became apparent that the relationship with Andrews was special, special to both sides.
So what were the reasons of selecting Andrews, and was it just the money?
"Of course the money was important, but it was not the only consideration.
With the memory of Bolton and the aborted deal of the ever growing betting syndicates, and the subsequent deal by Millwall to use a charity , the delicate and important marketing consideration had to be based on more than just a customer that wanted ‘tv exposure for the foreign sales’ it could generate, in exchange for a large cheque.
"Remember the FA does not have a sponsor at present
The deal acknowledged to be in financial terms one of the top 5 in the Championship was finally brokered in the last few weeks.
"We had a good relationship with Andrews, and there were other people who had approached us, but we felt that a good ongoing relationship with a business that supports CAFC was an important factor.
Paul Wood the MD of Andrews, and a fellow fan wanted to maintain a business partnership with the club. They have regular board and management meeting at CAFC, and Charlton’s good conference facilities are ideal for a company that has a local base , with good transport and infastructure links to central London.
‘We are down here every week, it goes down well with staff and clients according to Woods. As a company we are based in the Midlands but our company has had a business in the local community since 1928. We are also sold on the Charlton philosophy and the community,
something that Kensell himself was aware of while at Arsenal.
"Quite simply Charlton’s Community trust is the best in the business, it is a major selling point in showcasing the club" claimed Kensell
That same philosophy struck a chord with the Andrews board, who want to, and have contributed to CAFC’s trust ideals.
"We get 20 tickets per game and often we give them to deserving groups. Disadvantaged groups that perhaps cannot, and would not come to see football.
"We also work with Charlton as a business partner, and maintain the two Charlton sites the Valley and Sparrows lane training,’
A Partnership with a local firm
Both sides seem happy with the arrangement. As Kensell mentioned,
"Having a company like Andrews is important when you are a professional football club, having cold showers in the middle of winter is a non starter? Some of the infastructure at the club is getting old at the club" maintain’s Kensell.
According to Kensell Charlton have an excellent brand value, both in name and location , sometimes perhaps we under-appreciate this he maintains.
The deal with Andrews compliment’s both sides, it has to.
What happens if we get into the premership next year would or could you still be able to sponser us?,
The duo from Andrews stated that
"Whether we could could sustain the shirt sponsorship may be difficult, and it depends on a number of factors, but we will be involved with CAFC in the long term
"Customers are impressed when they come to Charlton, customers buy into the community aspect of things at the club, and the work of the Community trust is an important part of that
We also have an International and national marketing stratergy, and with the televised games on the continent we think this is an important aspect.
Woods went on to state that
"We have been around since 1928 we see a connection with Charlton, and a long term business association beyond the shirt sponsorship.
So in the business world of the bottom line when money can be brutal determining factor, money was not the only consideration?
The factor of a long term business relationship and the fact that CAFC would not be selling there name to the highest bidder was the way forward.
As Kensell remarked,’ I do not think that a betting syndicate is the Charlton way for the brand.’
A few days later Andrews held the unveiling of the new away kit, at there Charlton depot. Johnnie Jackson and Yann Kermogant modelled the new ‘white ‘ kit. It received a very favourable response with the Charlton faithfull fans.
Based next to Asda on the Charlton Bugsby way trading estate it is within a large stone’s throw of the Valley. The players dutifully signed photos, and posed for more among the employees, and outside the facility with CAFC fans
COMPETITION PRIZE DRAW
To win the new away or home shirt answer this question: What is the full address of Andrews' Charlton base?
You must first be a full or junior Member of CAS Trust. Please email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org subject: Andrews competition. The draw closes 31st July. 1 winner only, please state size , colour and Andrews will supply a shirt and CAFC will get the shirt signed by the first team for the start of the season.
A big thank you to Andrews-Sykes for supplying a shirt that we can give to one of our lucky Members.
Ben Kensell is Chief Commercial Officer for Charlton Athletic
Paul Wood is Manging Director for Andrews-Sykes
Steve Reeve is Group Sales and Marketing Director for Andrew-Sykes