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CASE STUDY: UKFast Sale RFC sponsorship

For the past five years, Internet service provider (ISP) UKFast has been official club sponsor of RFU Premiership team Sale Sharks. It has also recently become the individual sponsor of rising England star Charlie Hodgson, as well as renewing its overall deal with the club for a further four years.

UKFast has a strong presence in the domestic market, winning the Best Business Internet Service Provider Award in November 2004, at the Future ISP Awards. Based in Manchester, the ISP has strong customer bases amongst small and medium sized businesses in the North West and London regions, although it targets larger businesses also.

The sponsorship deal for Sale Sharks was originally instigated in 2000, although the England team's Rugby World Cup win in 2003 increased interest in the sport amongst the general public considerably, and consequently the value of the association. Club fullback and captain Jason Robinson's profile has also risen, and his star-status was confirmed by his recent appointment as England captain. A born-again Christian, Robinson's clean and trustworthy image make him an excellent brand ambassador for UKFast, and has become the focus of a new year above-the-line campaign, with ads appearing in IT trade magazines such as Linux Format, PC Plus and .Net.