Speculation is rife in the Tiger Nation about who or what will be the new club sponsor for the up and coming 2009-10 Premiership season.
Current sponsors Kingston Communication (of Hull) have been wonderful club sponsors, holding the naming rights to the KC Stadium (Kingston Communication Stadium) as well as having the company name on the club's away shirt and their product Karoo on the home shirt for the past two seasons.
However, with the recession hitting many in their wallets (sponsors included) homegrown sponsorship in the Premiership is not seen as the best way to maximize the club's brand. It is with this in mind that Paul Duffen, our club Chairman, has been looking further afield to bring in bigger sponsors with a wider reach and larger investment into the club for our second season in the Premiership.
There have been a variety of rumors on the Internet as to who that new sponsor might be, from Smith and Nephew, a multi-national company with roots in the City of Hull, to Internet betting Web site 888, and even Carlsberg the international brewing company.
It’s my gut feeling that it will be Asia Pacific Brewing of Singapore and their product Tiger Beer displayed on the Club's new shirt as the sponsors when Duffen and Phil Brown, the club’s manager, unveil the club's two new strips for the new season on July 1.
You may be wondering what my reasoning is.
In previous seasons the release of new shirts has been clouded in secrecy just as this season. However, in the past we have had sneak peeks at the club’s new design—perhaps not a full look at the new design, but at least a taste of what's to come.
This hasn't happened yet, however, because of the new sponsorship deal. This may be in part because of the precariously late date of definite survival in the Premiership, the last day of the season no less. Would a multi-national company want to be the shirt sponsor to a Championship club?
In the aftermath of survival Sunday, both Duffen and Brown were on their way to Singapore to speak to the Queen's High Commissioner and to talk about prospective business opportunities which could provide links to the Far East for the Club.
Since then the Club has been invited to take part in the Barclay's Asia Trophy in Beijing along with the Totttenham Hotspurs, the West Ham United, and the Beijing Guoan. The competition is an early season tournament to showcase the Premier League in the Far East. This will coincide with the upcoming football season and the Chinese Year of the Tiger for 2010.
Duffen has said on Radio Humberside, Hull's regional radio station, "It's a globally dominant business...a multi-national company.
"It's a fantastic brand and will be best in class in terms of this brand relationship in the Premier League."
If Tiger Beer and the Asia Pacific Brewing Company becomes the new Hull City sponsor for the new season I for one would be delighted. It would tie together two great Tigers in the Chinese Year of the Tiger. A perfect marriage that will hopefully stop my Tigers from being an endangered species, and make Hull City a Premier League force in the years to come.
Or, I could be totally wrong.