English Super League club Hull KR has agreed a two-year extension to its stadium naming rights deal with estate and retail services company Sewell Group.
KR initially agreed a deal for Sewell Group to become the new naming-rights sponsor of Craven Park back in January 2022. Sewell replaced Hull College in the role, with the latter shifting its focus to more community-based projects with the club.
As part of the agreement, the stadium was renamed Sewell Group Craven Park with the extension announced today (Friday) keeping this moniker in place until the end of the 2025 rugby league season.
Hull KR chief executive, Paul Lakin, said: “Throughout the partnership so far, we have delivered so much wonderful activity for our community. From distributing free rugby league balls to 700 youngsters in the city, supporting our Community Christmas Dinners, to the free sticker collection towards the end of last season, plus lots more.
“What started as a commercial partnership, has of course progressed over time, working closer and closer with the Group. In same way that we were both formed over 140 years ago with strong East Hull roots, our kindred spirit continues, with both organisations growing rapidly over the last two years and becoming recognised regionally as leaders in our respective fields.
“For us of course, we have seen strong growth off the field, alongside a growing talent pool over now over 365 players across 14 teams, making us the most inclusive club in the city. Over the partnership, we have learned a lot from Sewell Group about their culture, and how they became a Times Top 100 place to work. We look forward to building on that, alongside all the community activity and engagement rollout.”
Group finance director of Sewell Group, Simon Davison, added: “Extending our partnership is testament what we’ve developed over the last two years, and our collective commitment to support people and communities across the city.
“For us, this is about much more than putting our logo on a stadium – we’re proud to have been based in East Hull since we were established and continue to be part of local life, enabling people to get involved in sport and supporting wider initiatives with various community partners linked to the club.
“This began several years ago with us sponsoring community sections in the ground, then the North Stand, and now the entire stadium. Our group is growing, very much like the club and we’re creating more opportunities for local people to find skilled roles across a whole range of different sectors.”
In February 2023, KR appointed Genr8 Kajima Regeneration to develop its Craven Park Campus masterplan. The appointment of Manchester-based developers Genr8 came after the club confirmed the purchase of the stadium and up to 15 acres of surrounding land from Hull City Council back in March 2022.
This marked the first time Rovers had owned Craven Park since the late 1990s, when the stadium was sold to Kingston Community Developments Ltd (KCDL) to secure the club’s short-term future. It was hoped the purchase agreement with Hull City Council would secure Rovers’ long-term future at the 12,000-capacity Craven Park, which opened in 1989.
Stadium development is one of the key areas of focus under the plans to reimagine Super League, following the strategic partnership forged between the Rugby Football League (RFL) and the IMG agency back in May 2022.