UK gay soccer team lands major sponsorship

Dylan Vox | November 23, 2007

MANCHESTER — For most gay sports teams, sponsors come in the shape of local bars or gay publications, which help the athletes to participate in competitions and afford equipment. This week, however, England’s premiere gay soccer team, the Stonewall FC, received some impressive news in the form of a major mainstream corporate sponsorship. It was announced that the country's third largest bank, Barclays Bank PLC, would be sponsoring the club’s teams.

Founded in 1991, the Stonewall Football Club simply started out as a group of gay friends who wanted to create a team where they could play competitive soccer.

Since that time, their club has grown has been one of the world’s leading gay sports teams – samassing an impressive record winning three IGLFA World Championships, two Gay Games gold medals and placing in the top three at almost every competition they have entered.

The club is made up of three team divisions, and in 2002 the first team was promoted to England’s premiere division, where they compete against other soccer clubs in the primarily straight league.

As such, Barclays Bank, which has been an avid supporter of soccer in the UK and has sponsored the premiere team for the past few years, recently signing a one-year exclusive sponsorship deal with the Stonewall FC.

Gary Hoffman, Barclays Group Vice Chairman told Pinknews.com, “we see this is as an important part of our continuing commitment to the lesbian and gay community, which started in 2001 when we were the first bank to join the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme."

Barclays will help provide equipment and advertising for the club, which is looking to regain their IGLFA World Cup Championship when it is held next year in London. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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