Newest softball team in the North West secures sponsorship

Wed 9 Sep 2015

The Urmston Rippers, the newest softball team to have been founded in the North West region, has just completed a series of recruitment and training sessions over the summer – and now they have achieved sponsorship as well.

The team was started with support from the ILoveManchesterSoftball campaign, funded by Sport England Sportivate grants via GreaterSport Manchester.  And just when team members were able to confirm enough numbers and decide on a name (after a long voting process via social media!), they then received the news that they were also going to be sponsored.

New sponsor

The sponsor is Midshire, a firm specialising in the supply of office technology equipment, whose Manchester office became aware of the softball team via Dave Warren, one of their employees who plays on the team.

Urmston Rippers Manager Al Bruce said: “I am really excited about the news that Midshire is sponsoring us.  I only picked up a glove less than a year ago, and I have now met so many good friends through softball -- and now the fact that we have been noticed by a big company which has decided to put their name on our shirts is very rewarding.

“Please support our sponsors,” Al added, “and make sure you use them for all your printing and copying needs!”

New project

BSUK’s North West Development Manager Luis Arrevillagas said:  “This project has been brewing for a couple of years.  Dave Wareham, manager of the Wildcats, a team that plays in the Manchester Softball League, is an Urmston resident and we have spoken about bringing a team to the area before.  We knew the demographics were right but we needed to find a local person to drive this forward and thankfully Al Bruce put his hand up.  Dave helped the team from the beginning with coaching and advice, and he can now claim that his Wildcats were the opponents in the first friendly game the Rippers ever played.

“Asking for sponsorship seems very simple,” Luis added, “but not many teams are doing it, even though it works so positively in many ways.  Clearly the team gets much-needed funds for uniforms etc, but if you think of the Urmston Rippers’ sponsorship deal, they now have 200 employees from Midshire that know about their softball team and those 200 employees have families….  You can see how easily this can help promote our sport.  It is just a matter of knocking on doors and it only takes a question – and what’s the worst they can say?  A polite no?  In any case, most possible sponsors are people you will already know.”

BSUK North West coach Linni Mitchell said: “We have worked really hard this summer to bring our sports to every area in Greater Manchester and beyond.  Luis and I applied for funding to launch the ILoveManchesterSoftball campaign back in March, which allowed us to run sessions like the one in Urmston.  And I have really enjoyed coaching the Rippers!”

More information

For more information on Midshire, which has offices around the UK, go to or follow them on Twitter ( 

If you would like help with approaching companies for sponsorship, please contact Luis Arrevillagas.

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