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Getting into gear: SG Fleet hoping to drive change across UK after SoccerLease launch

SG Fleet is poised to launch a series of fresh sport-specific services on the back of introducing SoccerLease in the UK this year, giving fans, players and club staff the opportunity to lease out vehicles on preferential terms.

SG Fleet, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), launched SoccerLease in the UK through a partnership with second-tier Championship football club Birmingham City after a chance discussion about a sponsorship opportunity evolved into talks over a more innovative partnership.

“We felt like our fans deserved more from their membership package so the decision to bring in SG Fleet and their SoccerLease offering was a no brainer,” the club’s business development manager, Chris Brewerton, said. “We’re excited to see what the fans think and how it will boost the club!”

For Chris Salmon, SG Fleet’s commercial director, the benefits enjoyed through the Birmingham deal have ensured that there are plans to expand the service with other clubs and organisations in football and other sports – as long as they have a membership base.

“SoccerLease is the start, but we are not specific to soccer – it could be rugby, cricket, or any sports club that has members or season-ticket holders,” he said.

“The intention is, as and when we have the opportunity to work in different sports, we’ll change the name accordingly. We’re talking to a couple of gyms and Fitness Lease is something we’re looking at, for example. It’s really exciting and it’s something different for us as well.”

Adopting the service can encourage loyalty, Salmon explained.

“In terms of employees, offering this type of fleet service can improve retention by anything from six to 12 per cent, which is significant,” he said.

“There are other benefits – we offer a £100 bonus for every vehicle that’s leased. That can be given back to the club, but Birmingham took the view that they wanted to give it back to the supporter.”

Moving into sport was a natural development for a company that had been in the UK since 2008 and had ventured into the personal leasing market seven years ago.

“About a year ago we started venturing into membership schemes, such as chartered institutes or chambers of commerce,” Salmon said. “This got us thinking about our local football club as we’re based in Birmingham.

“We then came up with the term SoccerLease, which offers all the benefits of personal leasing and corporate fleet management, but to season ticket-holders and members of Birmingham City to start with.”

Salmon also outlined a number of “fringe benefits”

“There are around one million people who go to watch a football match every week in the UK,” Salmon added. “Then you add into the mix the support for rugby union, rugby league, cricket, hockey and other sports, and you can see why it is such an exciting opportunity for us.”

Image: SoccerLease