Marcus is Town's new sponsor

IPSWICH Town will be sponsored by the Marcus Evans Group for the next five years, The Evening Star can exclusively reveal today.

IPSWICH Town will be sponsored by the Marcus Evans Group for the next five years, The Evening Star can exclusively reveal today.

The multi-million pound deal finally ends months of speculation following energy giant E.On's decision to cut its ties with the Blues.

The contract, believed to be worth £4million, is the longest in the club's history and will see the Marcus Evans name emblazoned on the famous blue and white shirt of Ipswich Town until the summer of 2013.

The deal could become even more lucrative if Town are promoted and is a clear indication of Evans' long-term commitment to Ipswich.

It will also provide additional revenue on top of the initial investment made by the British entrepreneur when he bought the club last year.

Marcus Evans Group spokesman Martin Pitcher said: “The Marcus Evans Group is a highly successful international business to business information company with interests including conferences, summits, sports hospitality and business training.

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“It operates in 65 countries worldwide and is consistently increasing its global reach year on year.

“Ipswich Town's ambition is to establish itself back in the top flight of English football and achieve long term success in the Premier League.

“The worldwide media coverage that comes with playing in the Premier League and which football attracts in general, provides an ideal platform to further develop awareness of the Marcus Evans brand to an international audience.

“So through the partnership we aim to help return Ipswich Town Football Club to the Premier League and maintain the club's status at that level, as well as reinforcing the position of the group as a trusted global brand.”

There had been rumours that winter sports complex SnOasis could strike a deal with Ipswich, but the Star understands an agreement was never imminent.

Blues chiefs today claimed The Marcus Evans Group was one of a number of leading companies in discussion with the club over sponsorship.

Andrew Goulborn, Town's sales and marketing director, said: “There was serious interest from other high profile companies but the long-term commitment and financial support offered by the Marcus Evans Group proved decisive.”

Town chief executive, Derek Bowden, added: “The sponsorship deal is another illustration of Marcus Evans' long term commitment to Ipswich Town Football Club.

“He is determined - as we all are - to see this football club return to the Premier League and stay there and this sponsorship will help us achieve our goal.”

The severance of E.On's links with the club brings to an end a seven-year association with the firm and its former guises, Powergen and TXU Energi.

It is likely that The Marcus Evans Group sponsorship will dwarf Norwich City's three-year deal with Aviva, which was announced last month.

Pleased with today's announcement? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail