MICHAEL EISNER believes ‘ethos’ rather than economics makes Pompey a perfect fit with the University of Portsmouth.
The Blues chairman revealed more lucrative offers were turned down in favour of installing the education institution as the club’s new main sponsor.
The three-year deal was unveiled yesterday and ensures the university’s name will appear on Pompey shirts from next season.
They replace Jobsite, whose nine-year association was ended at their own request.
And Eisner believes the University of Portsmouth agreement makes sense as the club strengthens its ties with the city.
He told The News: ‘I think it’s more than the deal, more than the economics, I like the emotion and the relationship between us and the university.
To me this was the one, we have to do it, we just have to do it, no matter what, because they had the right feel and the right story is being toldMichael Eisner
‘I just think athletes, scholars, universities and clubs belong together.
‘There are many things a university can do with us in areas of their study, in health, sport, media and social media – and for us that is valuable.
‘While athletes running around with the university name goes to 166 countries on iFollow, plus here in the UK, it’s good for them and shows the relationships.
‘The relationship between sport and education in the United States is gigantic and something I am used to.
‘So when we had the option of many different sponsors, to me this was the one. We have to do it, we just have to do it, no matter what, because they had the right feel and the right story is being told.
‘We were not looking to get the most money.
‘Obviously, there are challenges at a club in League One, there are challenges to get yourself promoted, challenges on the pitch, challenges in Fratton Park to bring it up to contemporary levels, so the economics are very important.
‘In this particular instance, economics and ethos can go together – and I think it did.’
The partnership will provide collaborative research opportunities, use of facilities and discounted tickets for university staff and students.
Eisner added: ‘It was important for me to get the university.
‘I like having sponsors, of course it is part of the business and I have nothing against commercial sponsors, but I like having a sponsor where it seems I can have a relationship more than “Oh, we’ve got a sponsor”.
‘We are doing that with other sponsors as well, over time we will see that.’
– NEIL ALLEN