With its Head Office overlooking the Old Trafford home of Premier League champions Manchester United, AJ Bell has established itself as another major success story for the North West in recent years.
Since the company was founded in 1995 it has quickly grown to become one of the UK’s largest providers of low-cost, online investment platforms and stockbroker services. Proud of its North West roots it also has national coverage with offices in London and Tunbridge Wells.
In a bid to increase awareness of their brand still further, they have looked to embrace sport opportunities. The tactic kicked off last month with a three-year naming rights partnership with near neighbours Lancashire County Cricket Club for the iconic AJ Bell Players & Media Centre.
Having identified squash players as a natural fit for its target demographic, AJ Bell then quickly moved to secure naming rights for the AJ Bell World Squash Championship too.
“With 1.5 million squash players distributed fairly evenly across the UK, our sponsorship of the event in Manchester is a chance to increase our brand awareness nationally,” said AJ Bell’s Marketing Director, Billy Mackay.
“Importantly, it also cements our strong connection to Manchester and the North West.
“With increasing interest in squash and a decision imminent on the sport’s bid to gain Olympic Games recognition, it is an exciting time to add our support to the excellent work being carried out by the Championship’s stakeholders, PSA, England Squash and Racketball, UK Sport and Manchester City Council.” added Mackay.
Councillor Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council Executive Member for Culture, said: “Manchester is a major international sporting destination hosting global competitions that draw the eyes of the world to the city.
”The announcement that AJ Bell has chosen to sponsor the World Squash Championship can only be seen as positive and it is beneficial to both the company and sports fans throughout Manchester and beyond.”
The 2013 AJ Bell World Squash Championship is the most coveted on the PSA World Series Tour and takes place from October 26 to November 3, with the quarter-finals onwards hosted at the internationally known, Manchester Central (formerly G-Mex). The tournament forms part of UK Sport’s Gold Events series.
Alex Gough Chief Executive Officer from the PSA said “We are delighted to see AJ Bell as the title sponsor for this year’s World Championship. The sport is gaining more and more exposure all of the time and to attract a sponsor that is already involved in other successful sports like cricket, shows the growing value of squash at the moment.”
Egypt’s undisputed world number one, Ramy Ashour, will defend the title he won in Doha last December. Ashour also won when the World Championships were last staged in Manchester five years ago.
However, England are World Team champions and, in Yorkshire duo Nick Matthew and James Willstrop, have two players capable of beating the planet’s best.
Nick Rider Chief Executive of England Squash and Racketball finished by saying “We’re really excited about working with AJ Bell on the World Championships, which are a wonderful showcase of all that’s great about our sport. It will be a fantastic event!”