Plymouth Devils seal biggest-ever sponsorship deal
PLYMOUTH Devils have secured the biggest sponsorship deal in their history, the city speedway club have announced.
The newly-reformed club, who have been running for nearly eight years, are being jointly sponsored by St Blazey MX and Drive Revive of Seaton.
Plymouth commercial manager Brian Cave declined to say how much the deal was worth.
But he added: "It's worth thousands – we're talking about a five-figure sum."
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Securing the deal, which covers team expenses, is a major shot in the arm for the Premier League club.
A matter of weeks ago, Devils were on the brink of folding because of problems during a take-over bid by a consortium, which took the personal intervention of British Speedway Promoters' Association boss Alex Harkness to solve.
Now the consortium, which includes former Devils captain Seemond Stephens, are pumping money into the club's circuit, St Boniface Arena.
The improvements include a new grandstand and lighting for the benefit of supporters.
The new-look St Boniface Arena will be unveiled at the club's press and practice day next month.
Cave said: "Every club in the country needs team sponsors, which is a major form of funding within the club.
"Without the sponsorship, the club would still run, but the new promoters are putting a lot of money into the stadium for the benefit of supporters.
"If we didn't have the benefit of sponsorship such as we have now, those improvements would not be done."
Cave said the deal with the two firms was to run for a year, with the parties given an option to extend it at the end of 12 months.
He added: "We don't want to say publicly how much money we are receiving, but it is money and it's the biggest deal in the history of the club."
Cave has negotiated with the two firms to seal the deal.
He was helped by former Devils rider Mark Simmonds, who was backed by Drive Revive before injury ended his career.
Cave said: "A lot of credit must go to Mark for the Drive Revive part of the deal.
"I didn't just negotiate with these firms – I talked to a lot of local and national firms as well. The talks have been going on for quite a time.
"It is tough out there at the moment, so we're delighted to have St Blazey MX and Drive Revive on board."
Cave added: "I think the fans are going to be surprised by the improvements at the track when they see it for the first time.
"There's been more to do than just putting a lick of paint over it."
The involvement of St Blazey MX will see Devils linking with the Annear family, who have long been established with motorsport in Cornwall.
Brian Annear, along with sons Andy and Steve, was responsible for resurrecting St Austell speedway at the Clay Country Moto Parc in 1997.
Drive Revive, based at Seaton in East Devon, are a home improvement company.