CHESHIRE Jets will no longer carry the BiG Storage prefix next season after the Sealand Road firm ended its two-year stint as the club’s principal sponsor.
BiG Storage will remain involved with the Jets and we can exclusively reveal they have agreed a new sponsorship deal with the BBL outfit – but boss Andrew Donaldson says his company will reduce its “visible presence” from next season.
Donaldson’s intervention saved the club from folding altogether in 2007.
By now positioning BiG Storage as a ‘partner sponsor’ rather than principal sponsor, he is opening up the possibility of Jets attracting new backers while continuing to offer the same level of financial support as before.
Donaldson said: “We have taken a club which was run as just that, an amateur club, and turned it into a business.
“The Jets now have a high enough profile to stand on their own two feet. They could not be BiG Storage Cheshire Jets forever but despite reducing our visible presence, we will still maintain our level of funding and support.”
Two years ago the Jets were on the brink of folding after the retirement of club director Mike Burton.
Fans formed a committee to save the club and a high-profile campaign in The Chronicle attracted the attention of Donaldson, who stepped in with a generous sponsorship deal.
Initially for just one year, the deal was renewed last summer and the latest agreement will see the self storage company involved for a third season.
Today the club, with its Hoops4Health community programmes, is unrecognisable from the floundering giant it was back in 2007.
“When I came to the club it had two things in its favour,” said Donaldson. “The family atmosphere and the volunteers who keep the club going.
“Now they are the only two things which truly remain the same as they are the lifeblood of the club.
“We’ve delivered on our promise and helped the Jets as much as we can.
“I have invested a huge amount of time and energy in helping the club to get into a position where the brand can stand on its own two feet and I’m extremely proud of everything club director Pete Hawkins and I have achieved together.
“We’ve had great fun over the last two seasons and I look forward to continuing to enjoy our partnership with the Cheshire Jets and, personally, managing the University of Chester basketball team next season.
Pete Hawkins said the support of BiG Storage had “transformed” the club and would continue to do so as the Jets grows.
‘With the support of Andrew and the team at BiG Storage, we have transformed the Jets into a community- focussed business,” he said.