Bishop Grosseteste University and Lincoln City FC have welcomed a deal which strengthens the partnership between the two organisations.
Today BGU and Lincoln City announce a new three-year deal which will see BGU continue as the club’s main sponsor and home shirt sponsor.
But the strategic partnership between the university and the football club goes much deeper than that: the two organisations will be working ever more closely together on student engagement, teaching and matchday activities.
BGU has an outstanding reputation for teacher training and the Imps’ new management team of brothers Danny and Nicky Cowley were both PE teachers in Essex before joining Lincoln full-time this summer.
The Reverend Canon Professor Peter Neil, Vice Chancellor of BGU, says the partnership will work on a number of levels.
“Three years ago we were pleased to support the club and raise our profile by signing our first sponsorship agreement,” he said. “But now the relationship is more meaningful and, we hope, more beneficial to both sides.
“We have already had discussions with Danny and Nicky about how our academic sport department can work together with the club. This year we will launch our new single honours BSc degree in Sport, Coaching and Physical Education and we are in the process of validating a new foundation degree in Football Coaching with Lincoln College.
“Clearly there are synergies here that we can explore, and we are delighted that Lincoln City has appointed a dynamic and successful management team to move the team forward on the pitch.”
BGU has already donated two laptops to Danny and Nicky to assist them in their day-to-day player performance analysis, and the university is looking forward to more student engagement from Lincoln City too.
Lincoln City players will be contributing to sports courses at BGU from next semester and helping to coach the BGSU football team, while the BGU Lions cheerleading team will have an enhanced role at the club on matchdays.
The increased engagement follows the first ever Cathedral Cup match between BGU and the University of Lincoln which was played at Sincil Bank, Lincoln City’s home ground, in February.
Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley commented: “We are thoroughly looking forward to working in partnership with BGU going forward. Nicky and I both wholeheartedly believe in education.
“BGU have fantastic facilities but more importantly young, intelligent and vibrant people whom we as a club must utilise either as supporters or working with the club. We can provide these young people with exposure to a professional football environment where they can practise and apply their knowledge and skills.
“This can be a great opportunity for them to begin their career in a forward-thinking and people-centred environment. We as a club will certainly gain from their expertise.
“All successful partnerships have an element of give and take. We really feel this is a relationship where both organisations can benefit from each other. Together we both will be stronger.”