September 15, 2020 @ 7:55 by Steven Hugill
A basketball team is shooting for success thanks to the backing of several sponsors.
Teesside Lions Basketball Club has secured five commercial partners ahead of its new season.
Officials say the support will help the national league club push on with its bid to bring professional basketball to Teesside, which has been further boosted by the arrival of Great Britain coach Marc Steutel.
Among the sponsors is Durham-based managed IT services provider Concept IT, which has signed up to adorn the team’s game warm-up tops for a second year.
Further backing has come from Teesside International Airport, JSC Electrics, digital agency Ryze, Tigra Sportswear, 4 the Weekend and – for the second year as front of jersey main sponsor – Lemon Business Solutions.
Kevin Embleton, Concept IT managing director, said: “As the Lions IT provider, we’re pleased to be sponsoring the team for the second year in a row.
“They’re a great bunch of people, who are not only putting Teesside on the map for elite sport, but also supporting the community, working with children of all ages to instil the importance of health and wellbeing, and it makes us proud to feel that we’re giving something back.”
Martin Anderson, managing director of Stockton-based call management operator Lemon, added: “To have bold ambitions is one thing, but owner James Thomson is delivering on his intentions in a spectacular way.
“The momentum at which Teesside Lions is developing is staggering and we are proud to play a part in something special that will hopefully produce a long-lasting legacy.”
Praising the commitment of the Lions’ sponsors, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen – who previously returned Teesside International Airport to public ownership – said the support will further help put the region on the global sporting map.
Mayor Houchen [pictured above] said: “The Lions are a real hidden gem and that is reflected in the calibre of businesses that are getting involved.
“It’s great to see local businesses wanting to give back to community sport.”
James Thomson, Teesside Lions’ owner, added: “Sponsorship is a significant part of our income, allowing us not just to operate, but to develop as a team.
“During the COVID-19 lockdown, we’ve had five months with no income, but still had operational costs.
“The club would have struggled to operate had we failed to secure the support of these sponsors, but welcoming both returning and new commercial partners is an indication that we are doing something right, and has allowed us to deliver something for the people of Teesside to be excited about in spite of the COVID-19 uncertainty.”
The Lions’ first game of the season is scheduled to be a Teesside derby clash against TV Mohawks on Sunday, October 25.