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Specsavers Signs New Three Season Extension With Scottish Referees

Sunday, 02 August 2009

Specsavers has announced a new £600,000 sponsorship deal which will continue its partnership with Scotland's football referees for a further three seasons.

The re-signing of the sponsorship deal with the Scottish FA will see more money invested in training and development and also the continuation of the now synonymous shirt sponsorship that began in September 2002.

Specsavers store director at Motherwell and Wishaw, Ian Moss, says: 'When we first signed with the Scottish FA, I think the irony of the association appealed to the Scottish football fans' sense of humour. Now seven years on, and through several high profile events and initiatives, the public have seen what the investment in match officials has achieved.' 

The funding by Specsavers has been instrumental in helping ensure the constant flow of new referees into the Scottish game through significant investment in training and development. The establishment of the referees training academy has played a key role in fast tracking aspiring young referees to the top of their game. 

Hugh Dallas, the Scottish FA's new Head of Referee Development, says: 'Over the last few seasons, the Specsavers sponsorship has allowed us to make positive strides in the training, coaching and development of our existing referees whilst assisting in the recruitment of 750 new referees into the game. 

'Unlike football managers, we can't just go out there and make new signings. It takes years to train our referees and a huge amount of effort and hard work goes into achieving the high standards we have set.

'The new deal will enable us to continue to provide the very best of materials for the training of the up and coming referees, guys like John Beaton and Kevin Clancy, and ensure that our reputation in the world of football is maintained in the years ahead.'

Specsavers sponsorship of the Scottish referees was only the third deal of its kind in Europe and one of the biggest shirt sponsorship packages outside the Old Firm. The deal was negotiated by MEC Sponsorship on behalf of Specsavers.




Notes to Editors

Specsavers has sponsored Scottish football match officials since 2002 and because of this support over 750 new referees have been trained.  There is still a real need to encourage more youngsters to consider refereeing as a way of becoming involved in the sport.


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 eldest son John is joint managing director
  • Specsavers has more than 1,060 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain and Australia
  • Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group is forecast to reach a record £1.05 billion for the financial year 2008/9
  • The group plans to continue its successful international expansion by opening stores in New Zealand
  • Specsavers optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners.
  • Specsavers employs more than 26,000 staff
  • Specsavers was voted Britain's most trusted brand of opticians for the seventh year running by Reader's Digest in 2008
  • One in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers Opticians - eight and a half million glasses were sold during 2007
  • 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 will offer a hearing service from more than 400 locations by the end of 2008
  • Specsavers supports numerous optical and hearing charities, including Diabetes UK, for whom they have raised more than £250,000 to fund research into diabetic retinopathy
  • Since 2003 a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas for use in developing countries


*GfK Home Audit (Dec 2007)