South West Communications Group and Exeter Chiefs are celebrating their silver anniversary with a new sponsorship deal.
The new deal was signed by swcomms' commercial director Jon Whiley in the presence of five of the club's 25-year-old players to mark the longevity of the sponsorship relationship.
swcomms began sponsoring Exeter Chiefs in the 1994/95 season when the communications and IT company agreed to pay for a new set of playing shirts for the first team. This has grown into a seven-figure deal that represents the longest running main sponsorship relationship in the Premiership.
Mr Whiley said: "A request in a clubhouse bar 25 years ago has grown into a long-term relationship that has seen Exeter Chiefs develop into a top-flight club playing at a world-class stadium that we are all immensely proud of. The fact that some of the players are younger than the length of our sponsorship relationship just illustrates how long we have successfully worked together."
swcomms is the club's main and community sponsor, as well as the technology sponsor of Sandy Park. The business supplies the phone system, internet connectivity, Wi-Fi, data networks, CCTV, large hospitality screens and data centre services to the club and stadium, so staff, coaches and players have access to all the communications and IT tools they need to operate on daily basis and to efficiently prepare for match days.
Back in 1994, swcomms was known as South West Telecoms, but the name has changed to reflect the range of business solutions they now supply.
Kieron Northcott, deputy chief executive of Exeter Rugby Club, said: "This is a landmark deal for the club and swcomms. Their sponsorship and technological support have been invaluable in supporting Exeter Chiefs' journey from the County Ground to Sandy Park and from National Division One to the top of the Premiership. We continue to work closely with swcomms and we are grateful for their continued support. Here's to the next 25 years!"
Director of Rugby Rob Baxter said: "As a club we're very proud to have swcomms renew their relationship with us into another season. Our connection runs deep, it means more than just sponsorship, because from the outset it has been about working together with the club and our communities to promote the Chiefs.
"Importantly, it also means we are able to support our ambitions on the pitch and compete with the very best club sides in England and Europe. We have enjoyed many highlights of this relationship so far and I look forward to many more."