Stoke City and Britannia announced that one of the longest-running shirt sponsorship deals in English football history has been extended by another four years.
The Premier League Club have secured a new agreement worth almost £4 million which means Britannia, now part of the Co-operative Financial Services (CFS), will continue as their Principal Club Partner to 2013.
The relationship is the longest sponsorship the Potters have ever had and – from 2010 – the longest shirt sponsorship in the Premier League.
The deal extends the shirt sponsorship to 16 years and strengthens further an overall commitment that will span 20 years, one which commenced back in 1997 when Britannia secured the naming rights to the new stadium.
The long-running partnership also includes the Save and Support account which is the most successful account of its kind in the country.With 18,000 account holders, it has contributed almost £7 million in commission back to the club since it began in 1997.
The new shirt deal will sit alongside the current 10-year stadium sponsorship agreement, running until 2016. With the continued income from Save and Support, it makes the new shirt sponsorship deal even more lucrative and means Britannia's backing for the Potters over the 20 years could exceed £15 million.
It also places City among a select number of Clubs who have forged partnerships with a sponsor of that length.
It is a measure of the commitment from both sides to make the sponsorship deal as rewarding and as successful as it has been, all of which has contributed to the achievements of the Club and Britannia in that time.
Tim Franklin, Chief Operating Officer of the Co-operative Financial Services, commented: "We are proud to remain the principal sponsors of Stoke City and to be part of this record-breaking relationship.Since 1997, we have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Club through the lean times and are delighted to continue our support during one of the most successful periods in Stoke's history.
"The relationship for us is all about loyalty and long-term commitment.The new deal will see our partnership extend to almost 20 years and underlines the importance of Staffordshire and its people to Britannia.
"With Stoke now enjoying Premier League status, our brand has been taken to an even wider national audience, which has already increased awareness of Britannia and contributed to our continued commercial success."
City's Chief Executive Tony Scholes commented: "The tremendous support we have received from Britannia over many years now has played a big part in our success, so we are delighted to extend this relationship and be given an opportunity to build upon all the achievements of the past twelve years.
"As a partnership, we have worked extremely hard since the start of the sponsorship agreement to put the Club's supporters and Britannia's customers at the heart of our product, so both parties are keen for this to continue.
"The Save and Support account, for instance, is the most successful of its kind in the country with more than 18,000 people holding one of these accounts. That has generated a considerable amount of money for the Club as a result."
He added: "The level of Britannia's commitment in extending this agreement also reflects their desire to be part of a Club enjoying a Premier League profile now. Research has highlighted how much Britannia has benefited from increased brand exposure which comes with being associated with a team in the best League in the world."
Britannia, who recently completed a merger with the Co-operative Financial Services revealed last week that research among football fans nationally showed that the business's name was among the 10 best known brands in the Premier League.