This will see the national pools giant as the Club’s main partner, but uniquely, the key beneficiaries will be both a local and a national charity.
The catalyst for this arrangement has been the convergence of many important anniversaries for all concerned - the 125th anniversary of Preston North End's Invincibles (the first ever league and cup winners); the 90th anniversary of the world's oldest football gaming business, The Football Pools; the 50th anniversary of the Football Pools Panel (and one of its founder members being Sir Tom Finney); the 125th anniversary of the Football League and the 150th anniversary of the Football Association.
The front of the Club’s shirts will carry the logo of a UK wide charity partner, Carers Trust, with the back of the shorts carrying the logo of local charity, The SPACE Centre, based on Peddars Lane in Ashton, Preston. The Football Pools’ logo will go on the back of the shirts above the players’ names, and they will continue to receive branding within the stadium.
Speaking about the deal the directors of Preston North End said: “We are delighted to have concluded the deal with The Football Pools and be able to benefit two fabulous charities in this way.
“We have had a number of commercial offers on the table during the summer, but none that left the legacy that this will in a year we celebrate the Invincibles great achievements.
“The new kit, with the three logos in place, will be worn by the team at the Liverpool game, with photos set to be unveiled of the Nike branded kit before the game, with public sale set to follow before the end of the month.”
Ian Penrose, Chief Executive Officer at Sportech PLC, owners of The Football Pools, said: "The Football Pools celebrates both its 90th anniversary in 2013 and also the 50th anniversary of our expert Pools Panel. The Football Pools has given over £1.1 billion to sport, the arts and charitable causes over the years, and we are delighted to facilitate this unique charitable arrangement in what is an important year for the Football Pools, Preston North End, the Football League and the Football Association.
"As a Group we believe in leaving a lasting legacy in the community. Sportech has been a long term supporter of Carers Trust, and we are pleased to be working with them on this initiative. Importantly, in this the 50th year of the Football Pools Panel, we are delighted that one of the original members of the Panel, Preston North End President and one of the greatest footballers in the history of the game, Sir Tom Finney, nominated The SPACE Centre in Preston as the local charity he wished to support. We are delighted to be able to support these important charities in both a financial and promotional manner.
"Our community involvement is always at the front of our thinking, so linking it to a football club with its own very strong community roots seemed to present a powerful and obvious proposition. We were delighted with Preston North End’s positive response to our proposal, and the arrangement took only a matter of hours to put together. In addition to the mutual community involvement aspects of the agreement, we both share a common objective and desire to mark these historic anniversaries with an appropriate and lasting legacy."
Thea Stein, CEO of Carers Trust said: “Three in five of us will be a carer at some point in our lifetime, and 10% of our population are carers today. Anyone who provides care for someone who could not cope without their support is a carer.
“Carers Trust are delighted that Preston North End and The Football Pools support the vital role that the UK’s unpaid carers play in our communities every day. That’s fans, supporters, officials at the Club and players, any of whom might be carers now, or could be in the future. The recognition that this will bring through awareness of this hidden issue is enormous and will help untold numbers of people feel comfortable about coming forward for support.
The SPACE Centre were overwhelmed by the decision: “We are absolutely thrilled that Preston North End and The Football Pools have chosen to help SPACE this season.
“As Sir Tom Finney has been our patron for many years, this will carry on the tradition of support from the Club. It is extremely important to us to have this local support as the majority of the centre users come from Preston and the surrounding areas.
“SPACE is currently committed to expanding its’ services and facilities to meet the ever increasing need of those with disabilities, their families and their carers. We look forward to continuing our long association with Preston North End, and the support from The Football Pools, in the surety that all funds raised will be put towards equipping the new centre, thus improving our services and the care we offer the community,” said Alison Shorrock, centre manager.