Boost for Scottish Football as Specsavers Commits to Three More Years
Monday, 23 July 2012
FOOTBALL referees in Scotland are set to benefit from the continued backing of the UK's most trusted optician, Specsavers.
The re-signing of the substantial six-figure sponsorship deal will see the partnership between Specsavers and Scotland's referees entering its 10th year - one of the longest agreements of its kind in sport.
Nearly 2,500 match officials have been trained since the relationship began in 2002 - and both parties are looking to increase that total significantly over the next three seasons.
Jim Quinn, regional chair of Specsavers in Scotland says: 'The relationship between Specsavers has progressed over the years from a logo on a shirt to a much closer partnership that benefits the game as a whole.
'Referees visit stores for vision and hearing examinations on a regular basis and benefit from the professional care of our staff, while we use our country-wide network of stores to help recruit as many new match officials as possible, in order to support the game from local community to international level.
'Scottish football will always need referees and assistant referees, and we want to do everything we can to make sure they get the best possible support to do their job on the pitch.'
The funding provided by Specsavers has been instrumental in helping ensure the flow of new referees into the Scottish game, with significant investment going into training and development all the way from grassroots to elite level.
Specsavers has provided cash for radio communication equipment for use in the SPL & other matches, training facilities and kit for regional groups and hi-tech video editing for the production of coaching materials. The optical group's support has also helped to deliver the refereeing SQA programme within schools and colleges.
John Fleming, head of referee development, says: 'The 10th year of our partnership with Specsavers is a fantastic landmark for the Scottish FA and, in particular, the Referee Development Department. The continued support of Specsavers will enable us to achieve strong, quality growth as part of the Scottish FA's Scotland United 20/20 vision strategy.
'Over the last 10 years we have recruited more than 2,400 referees and these new recruits are the lifeblood of refereeing in Scotland.
'Specsavers' support has helped us to develop the new Scottish Qualification Authority 'Referee Development Award' which provides an opportunity for secondary school pupils to become involved in refereeing. We have also been able to deliver more training than ever before to our current referees at all levels of the game, and run the very first Celtic Nations Refereeing Seminar for female referees.
'The Specsavers brand has become an established and recognised part of the referee's kit and I am positive that both the Scottish FA and Specsavers will prosper from continued partnership going forward.'
Specsavers' sponsorship of football referees is one of the largest in Scottish sport, and complements the optical group's investment in supporting match officials in other sports including rugby and bowls.
- Ends -
Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of Specsavers
Specsavers notes to editors
- Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world. The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their son John is joint managing director.
- Specsavers has more than 1,600 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
- Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group was £1.5 billion for 2010/2011 and is forecast to reach £1.6 billion in 2011/2012.
- 7.6m customers used Specsavers in 2011 - more than in any other year.
- Specsavers Optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners. Together, they offer both optical and hearing services under one roof.
- Specsavers employs more than 30,000 staff.
- Specsavers was voted Britain's most trusted brand of opticians for the eleventh year running by the Reader's Digest Trusted Brands survey 2012.
- More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers* - 10,800,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2011.
- Specsavers was ranked No 1 for both eye tests and glasses in the UK*.
- Specsavers is the largest retail provider of home delivery contact lenses in Europe and one of the top two retail suppliers of continuous wear lenses in the world.
- Specsavers is now the largest retail dispenser of digital hearing aids in the UK and offers a hearing service from more than 400 locations.
- Specsavers supports numerous optical and hearing charities, including Guide Dogs and Hearing for Deaf People. During its three-year support for Diabetes UK it raised more than £250,000 to fund various projects.
- Since 2003 more than a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas, for use in developing countries. Specsavers has raised over £550,000 for the charity since 2006, with almost £250,000 going towards its work in Zambia.