Bridges Estate Agents, the region’s premier sales and letting agents, have extended their deal as Aldershot Town’s shirt sponsor for a further two years to 2018.
Bridges’ instantly-recognisable brand has graced The Shots’ shirts since August 2013 as the company has forged a mutually-beneficial relationship with the Club across the Surrey and Hampshire region. With eight offices, in Aldershot, Ash Vale, Camberley, Farnborough, Farnham and Fleet, Bridges’ innovative marketing techniques have helped Aldershot Town reach a new audience throughout the area.
As the business approaches its 25th year as a proudly community-oriented organisation, Managing Director Carlo Stocchetti said: “Our connection with the Club has always been there, and we feel that it is our responsibility to work with like-minded people. You can feel Shahid Azeem’s passion for the Club, and from a community point of view, the Club and this town are massively important for us.
“Our business is all about local people. I was born and bred in Aldershot, and our Chairman, Tony Raffermati, grew up as a big fan of the Club, and we love giving a bit back. Because of what’s happening with the town, and its regeneration, Aldershot is a fantastic place to be. It has some great assets and people are moving into the town because of those assets.”
Shots Chairman Shahid Azeem said: “We are delighted that the name of Bridges will continue to adorn our shirts for another three years. They are a company that is totally committed to the Club, the town and the Borough of Rushmoor. It is also essential that we work with companies who share our ethics and morals. Bridges have already given the Club a great boost, and we thank them for all of their hard work on behalf of Aldershot Town FC.”
In its 24 years, Bridges have followed schoolchildren from the classroom to their first property, as sponsors of several local schools, and seen many progress from pupils to Bridges’ homeowners.
“There are still some schools which we have sponsored every year since 1991, but it’s something which has grown and grown,” explains Carlo. “As soon as we moved a family into the area, and their children started at local schools, they would ask us whether we’d consider sponsorship. It became a great way of giving something back but also trying to connect with the community.”
The company is renowned for its innovative marketing techniques – something which has helped Bridges to establish themselves as leaders in their industry but also, through billboard advertising and the free GU magazine distributed to every household in the region, carried the name of Aldershot Town to thousands of potential new fans.
“We profess to be different and colourful, and as we’ve grown we’ve had to keep reinventing ourselves to keep it fun. We started Bridges because we wanted to express ourselves and be a real person, and do something we loved,” admits Stocchetti. “Our biggest slogan from the early days was ‘professional doesn’t mean you have to be dull’ – we try to do things differently, look different and have different boards, but we understand property and we understand the emotion that is involved with moving house.
“We want to get the brand noticed but ultimately you want to keep it fresh and inviting – it gets people talking and it makes it a bit more personal. We’re not a massive conglomerate, we’re just local people.
“Hopefully our sponsorship has made some inroads into spreading the name of Aldershot Town and making it synonymous with our brand as well. But this is also about a longer-term belief that the Club is onto something good – it’s not just about what is achieved in our tenure as sponsors.”