ONE hundred business guests descended on James Edwards Land Rover (JELR) to launch the Widnes Vikings away kit.
The Chester dealership hosted the event as part of its club sponsorship deal, which will also see the showroom’s logo feature on the kit for the 2011 season.
For the kit unveiling, Vikings players in the new strip descended stairs to a floodlit stage, serenaded by the song You Can Leave Your Hat On, to the cheering crowd.
Vikings and JELR hailed the event a success – a first for the dealership and a display of the Vikings’ ability to throw a party for its business partners.
JELR general manager Simon Caine and Vikings head of commercial Chris Sherling Rooke said the brands complement each other because they are both ‘rugged and tough’.
They revealed that their claim was tested when a subzero cold snap threatened to block the Super League bid delivery to RFL headquarters in Leeds.
Mr Caine said the Stobart lorry carrying the bid was not suitable for treacherous snowy country roads, but JELR badged a Range Rover Sport in Vikings colours to take the bid on the final leg of the delivery.
The car was ready within a few hours of Mr Shirling Rooke’s request.
Other business guests at the kit launch included not-for-profit health insurers Medicash, Ralli Solicitors, and stockbrokers Charles Stanley, which recently opened it first Liverpool branch.
Mr Caine said: “The kit launch was absolutely fantastic and great PR for both companies – it showed that the club is attracting more people and businesses to rugby league.
“Widnes Vikings is going to be very exciting over the next two years, and judging by my dealings with them they have a very professional outfit.
“We believe they are a successful club that only get better.”