A Barclays Premier League football club is preparing for a host of away fixtures, with food rather than football taking centre stage.
Sunderland AFC, which has long managed its own in-house catering at the Stadium of Light, has launched 1879 Events Management, an outdoor events management and catering division, which has already won a number of major contracts.
Named after the year the football club was founded, Sunderland AFC believes it is the first football club to take its catering beyond the stadium, bucking against the trend of many other stadia which often outsource their catering and events operations.
1879 Events Management operates as a subsidiary of SAFC and has been built on the club’s experience of hosting events at the Stadium of Light to offer a single, one-stop solution to events management for the whole of the North East and beyond.
Gary Hutchinson, Commercial Director at Sunderland AFC, said: “As well as providing match day hospitality for thousands of customers on a regular basis, we play host to everything from business meetings and award ceremonies to conferences and major music concerts at the stadium.
“We recognised there was a gap in the market for quality catering and hospitality management throughout the wider North East region and beyond and we saw this as an ideal way to put our experience and skills to greater use.”
1879 Events Management has already provided the catering and event management for a diverse range of events, from business awards dinners to a private shooting party.
In July it catered for more than 20,000 people during the one-day, open air Northern Pride Festival in Newcastle and also hosted the 2012 North East Business Teesside Awards on Teesside University’s campus, as well as the Sunderland 2012 Retail Awards in the city’s Bridges Shopping Centre.
The expertise gathered by looking after major, large scale music events at the Stadium of Light, ranging from concerts by Pink to Take That, Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen, means 1879 can also provide a complete event management package, covering everything from stewarding through to ticketing
“1879 Events Management may be a relatively new company but we have the benefit of years of experience and a proven track record behind us,” said Mr Hutchinson.
“The sheer volume of events we have already looked after show the confidence in what we can offer and we’re already in discussions with other major organisations in the city and wider region for tenders and day to day contracts which will further utilise our expertise”
For further information about 1879 Events Management call 0871 911 1269, email info1879events.com or visit www.1879events.com