Swindon-based Arkell’s Brewery has renewed its sponsorship of Swindon Town FC for the next three years.
The deal, described by the family-owned brewery and pub chain as a “six-figure commitment”, includes continued sponsorship of the Arkell’s stand at the League One side’s County Ground.
Arkell’s, Swindon’s oldest companies having brewed its first pint in 1843, has a long association with the club and has been involved in various roles ranging from sponsor, financial backer and official drinks supplier for more than a century.
In 1896 brewery owner Thomas Arkell, great-grandfather of current chairman James Arkell, lent the club £300 to finance the construction of a new stand on what was then known as the Wiltshire County Ground.
This investment was sufficient to begin development of a purpose-built football ground on the site, which has been home to the club ever since. The loan was written off in 1901.
Arkell’s, best known for its 3B bitter, has also produced special beers to help fans toast the Robins’ triumphs over the seasons. Its Kingsdown Ale was first brewed to commemorate Swindon Town's famous giant-killing League Cup triumph over Arsenal in 1969
Arkell’s brewery sales director Nick Arkell – at one time a director of the football club – said: “Swindon Town Football Club and Arkell’s Brewery go back a very, very long way, but our relationship is as strong as ever. We’ve supported the club through the good times and the bad because both businesses are Swindon institutions.”
Swindon Town FC general manager Steve Anson said: “It’s fantastic that Arkell’s commitment to the club remains strong as ever and everyone here appreciates their continued support. This is Swindon’s oldest business supporting the town’s biggest spectator sport.”
To mark the deal Swindon Town manager Mark Cooper visited the brewery with centre back Raphael Rossi Branco, the 20-year old Brazilian player now in his second season at the club, to meet Nick Arkell and head brewer Alex Arkell, son of James Arkell.
Nick added: “Beer and football are inextricably linked. We are very proud of our town team and are looking forward to a fantastic season.”
Arkell's owns more than 100 pubs in and around Swindon.
Pictured, from left: Nick Arkell, Mark Cooper, Raphael Rossi Branco and Alex Arkell