A-League club Newcastle Jets and Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) have entered a different type of sponsorship agreement to the norm. The Jets, led by mining and racing magnate Nathan Tinkler, will donate money to the local health and medical research centre for goals scored at home and away whilst wearing the HMRI logo on the front of their playing strips.
For every away goal scored, the Jets will donate $2500 to the institute and $5000 for every goal scored at EnergyAustralia Stadium.
Jets executive chairman Ken Edwards confirmed the partnership today, saying that it was a brilliant step for both the club and the institute.
"Like HMRI, the Jets are a community asset and a not-for-profit organisation. While we are finalising our sponsors what better way to assist a fellow Hunter institution than by putting them on our strip? Cutting edge organisations such as HMRI are the ones who will eventually find cures to some of the world's most crippling and devastating diseases," Edwards said.
"The Jets want to establish a direct connection and genuine relationships with the entire community and this is another example of this core principle in practice.
"It is wonderful for us to be able to offer this level of national exposure to such a worthwhile and life-changing organisation as HMRI in our forthcoming matches."
Not since Barcelona's partnership with UNICEF, where they donate 1.5million a year to have the UNICEF logo on their shirts, have we seen an agreement such as this in the football world and it reiterates Newcastle's ability to re-engage the club with the community.
It shows that the Jets are doing everything they can to build a successful club with the goal of off-field stability whilst the likes of Gold Coast United are thumbing their noses at their local community and making the sport very tough to support if living in the Gold Coast region.
Jets fans and others living in the Hunter Valley must be extremely proud that a fellow Novocastrian in Tinkler is bringing the game back to the people and showing the rest of the competition exactly how to get the public on side.