FC Halifax Town’s commercial manager says encouraging more local businesses to get involved with the club is his biggest priority.
Ben Bottomley joined The Shaymen this summer after spending more than six years in the sales department at Pulse Radio.
Before then he worked for the Courier, where he says he developed the majority of his current business contacts in the borough.
Ben, who lives in Southowram, has regularly kept an eye on Town’s results over the years while his eight-year-old son Alfie regularly attends matches, and says hailing from the local area is an advantage in his role.
“There’s a bit more credit about you if you’re from Halifax because you’re a bit more passionate about your home-town and the club,” he said.
“I’ve got a good knowledge of local businesses which has put me in good stead.
“I want to bring a bit of excitement to the experience at Halifax as well as trying to encourage new business.
“It’s a fantastic club, I’m getting some great feedback from the match-day hospitality.
“The facilities are there and I believe Halifax is a sleeping giant in terms of the football club.
“One of my main aims is to grow the number of businesses we deal with.
“I’m responsible for the sponsorship and advertising income - a ground board, match sponsorship, the sporting dinner, the golf day - but we’re looking at new ideas as well.”
One new initiative is a sponsor’s evening at The Shay at 6pm on September 22, where new and existing sponsors are invited to attend and will be given free admission to that night’s home game against Gateshead.
Bottomley believes sponsors play a crucial role in financing the club and is keen to nurture such relationships.
“There are a lot of businesses and individuals who have supported the club for a long time,” he said.
“That’s really important because they’re the backbone of the club, they keep it going.
“The role is absolutely crucial because it impacts on the first-team playing budget.
“There are ways to sponsor the club at different levels and the co-operation we get in terms of sponsorship is quite overwhelming.
“There are so many people who make an effort to get involved and that’s one thing that’s really impressed me so far.”
“But I want more businesses involved and for them to keep coming back to us.
“I’m keen to get as much feedback, good or bad, from people about what we do and I’m always open to suggestions.”
Town’s commercial chief admits replacing his predecessor Debbie Charlton has been difficult, but is hoping the club’s off-field activity continues to grow.
He added: “Debbie was an extremely well-liked individual and it was tragic what happened.
“It’s been a hard task picking up where she left off.
“It’s been difficult for me personally to do that but we’ve got to look forward as a club.
“The people I’ve met where Debbie left off have been great and we’ve kind of picked up from that point.”