Stirling Sports Premiership announced for 2016-17

New Zealand Football is pleased to announce Stirling Sports as the naming rights sponsor for the Stirling Sports Premiership in 2016 – 2017.

Stirling Sports is excited to partner with New Zealand Football and position themselves as the leading sports retailer for football equipment in New Zealand.

New Zealand Football Chief Executive Andy Martin said as the Stirling Sports Premiership is the premier football competition in New Zealand and a vital pathway for New Zealand’s local football talent to progress onto the international stage, it is important for Football to align with the right partner.

Click here for the Stirling Sports Premiership draw

“Stirling Sports is an iconic New Zealand brand,” said Martin. “There is a lot of synergy between our target of becoming the nation’s favourite game and what they are trying to achieve as New Zealand’s favourite sports retailer. They have been around for more than 50 years and Kiwis have grown up going to Stirling Sports for their football gear. I am sure that will only increase during our partnership.”

Dan Adams, Head of Marketing and Merchandise at Stirling Sports, said they have been long-time supporters of football, noting that there is a huge football presence at their 54 stores around New Zealand already.

“In becoming the naming rights sponsor for the Stirling Sports Premiership we are excited to build on that association further with football which is the No 1 participation sport in New Zealand,” said Adams.

He regards the Premiership as a unique property in the New Zealand sports market.

“It has a great presence on SKY Sport and as a former player I know that people around New Zealand are hugely passionate about their team playing in this competition and how much it means to win the trophy,” he said.  “We feel the competition is going from strength to strength and we are excited to be part of that and help take it to the next level.”

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Martin said New Zealand Football is looking to build on the success of last year’s competition where the governing body secured unprecedented coverage of the Premiership games live each week on SKY Sport. There will be 23 games live on SKY this season plus a ‘Match of the Day’ highlights show covering all matches of the round.

In 2016 – 17 the Stirling Sports Premiership includes three new teams in Eastern Suburbs, Hamilton Wanderers and Tasman United. It will begin on October 16 and conclude with a final on 2 April, 2017.

The competition begins with the Auckland derby between Auckland City and Waitakere United at the renowned Kiwitea Street. The first broadcast match is a repeat of 2015-16 Final between Auckland City FC and Team Wellington and other feature matches of that round are Hawkes Bay United hosting Waitakere United and the local derby between Canterbury United and new-boys Tasman United.

Team Wellington will look to defend their title after they defeated Auckland City FC 4-2 in the final of the Premiership this year at QBE Stadium in Albany.

Meanwhile Trillian Trust – a New Zealand based charitable trust – returns as a major Funding Partner to support the Stirling Sports Premiership and play a vital role in the competition’s financial sustainability.

“We know that the premiership is an important pathway for football in New Zealand and we are proud to support its development,” said Dean Agnew, the CEO of Trillian Trust.

“We want to ensure this competition stays at a high level and delivers on its goal to create opportunities for future All Whites and we know local football benefits from having a strong national premiership. Our contribution is to ensure it is cost effective and sustainable.”

Martin said New Zealand Football are most appreciative of the significant contribution made by Trillian Trust.

New Zealand Football would also like to thank ACC who continue as a partner of the Premiership to promote their Sportsmart Injury Prevention Programme.

Martin is excited about seeing the Stirling Sport Premiership begin in October.

“The Stirling Sports Premiership is ‘Where All Whites are made’ and we are looking forward to seeing many of our best up and coming international players compete around New Zealand,” he said.

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