SsangYong and Puma deals add to "buzz" around the club, says boss
As he gears up for the start of his first pre-season as Luton Town manager this morning, Nathan Jones says the announcement of the new sponsorship and kit deals add to the “buzz” around the Hatters in recent weeks.
Speaking at the recently expanded Airport Executive Park headquarters of SsangYong Motor UK Ltd on Friday afternoon, when the new two-year partnership and Puma kit deals were announced, Jones made clear his delight with how things are evolving for the football club.
A positive end to last season has been built on by the interest in the public consultation exhibitions for the proposed new stadium at Power Court and mixed use development at Newlands Park, the signings of loanee Alan Sheehan, two promotion winners in Danny Hylton and Johnny Mullins, a young England goalkeeper in Christian Walton and an EFL Cup Round One pairing with Aston Villa.
Jones was so impressed with SsangYong’s cars he took one home for a weekend test drive, and he told lutontown.co.uk: “In terms of off the pitch, there’s a lot going on with the stadium and now two sponsorship deals with two established companies. It’s a great coup for the club.
“A lot of credit goes to Gary Sweet (pictured above with SsangYong Motor UK Ltd CEO Paul Williams), the board, the commercial department and everyone here for getting these deals in place. It just goes to show that we are a strong, strong club.
“On the pitch, we’ve recruited well and with the fixtures coming out, it adds to that little bit of buzz. The cherry on top has been the Villa tie at home. It’s an exciting time and we’ve just started back for pre-season, so you can feel the momentum building now.
“We are expecting a big season. We want a big season. We’ve had a little bit of a settling in period last year at the club and we know what we want. We’ve recruited for certain things, and we are all looking forward to the season starting. Hopefully we can achieve.”
SsangYong Motor UK Ltd finance director Ian Anderson explained during the afternoon how excited his workforce – many of them, like him, who are Kenilworth Road regulars – were to be told of the partnership with the football club. Jones could feel the passion there for the Town to do well.
“In a lot of communities, the football club is the heartbeat and a hub of the community, and I got the feeling of that when I played here, and I definitely get feel of that now,” said Jones, who spent a season at Kenilworth Road in the mid-1990s after David Pleat plucked him from Merthyr Tydfil.
“It’s a real traditional football club. There are a lot of good people involved and a lot of good local people who want to see it do well.
“It’s just been backed up by a company who is established like SsangYong wanting to back us. It’s a great thing and we’re really pleased.”
And referring to the positive vibe that spread through the Ely Way training ground when the players saw the new kits as they returned for personal fitness tests on Friday, Jones added: “Of course, the deal with Puma has been fantastic as well. They have a real high level of kit and the new strips look fantastic.
“The lads came in and we worked hard, with a bit of testing for them. We had a little bit of ball work just to get them back into their movements and so on.
“But that’s how we want to go forward. We want to work hard and we want to be in possession of the ball – so they are themes we run with every day.”