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The Co-operative, the world's largest consumer co-operative, is delighted to announce its sponsorship of the Netball Superleague, the premier competition for the game in this country, which returns for its third season on 27 October 2007. The new season of The Co-operative Netball Superleague will be televised by Sky Sports from 1 November 2008, in an agreement which runs through until the competition's Grand Final in April 2008. The Co-operative will also be a full partner of England Netball's international test series.
"The Netball Superleague represents an ideal opportunity for us to interact with our core customers - women - and extends our involvement with elite sport, which has been so successful during the Rugby League season," says Liz Matkin, Sponsorship Manager for The Co-operative. "This gives us a great opportunity to promote some of our Co-operative messages, such as healthy lifestyles, as well as developing regionally-focused activity and schools initiatives.
"Many netball clubs - not just those taking part in The Co-operative Superleague - are at the heart of their local communities and therefore provide a perfect fit with the services we offer."
Karen Rothery, England Netball's Commercial Director, believes there is much synergy between the two brands:
"In addition to the awareness and education-building activity which this partnership will generate for both England Netball and The Co-operative, we believe that it is a clear opportunity to communicate The Co-operative's teamworking policy. Netball is the ultimate team sport, involving, as it does, all the members of the team on court, and this is an ethos which the Society is associated with, right across its business."
"Last season's Netball Superleague was a huge success at both an elite and a grassroots level," continues Rothery, "with our international teams performing better than ever on a world stage, thanks to the intense levels of competition they experience in the Superleague, and participation levels rising 6% year on year among our club and school playing members. There is no doubt that part of this success has been driven by the increased visibility of the game on television, thanks to the agreement with Sky Sports, and we are delighted that The Co-operative has recognised the opportunity which the Netball Superleague provides for key consumer interactions."
The Netball Superleague was established in 2005 as a vehicle to encourage improved playing and officiating standards across the country, which would enable England to compete more effectively in international competition. It features eight regionally-based franchise teams from across England and Wales. Since its inception, England teams have taken a silver medal at the World Youth Championships in 2005 and bronze at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006. Last season, more than 2.5 million viewers watched domestic and international netball on Sky Sports.
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Sky Sports will bring you 14 rounds of live action from the ZEO Netball Superleague plus the semi-finals and final with our dedicated broadcast team.