Client: Cornish Pirates Category: Sponsorship Tools Used: AV

Our role as Premier Sponsor of the Cornish Pirates

Microcomms’ relationship with the Cornish Pirates began long before the company was even conceived.

The company was bought 23 years ago by Managing Director, Simon, who throughout his early years had been a keen rugby player along with his elder brother. Having played for the Penzance and Newlyn Pirates from the Minis to Juniors, he eventually to join the army at 16. When he took the reins at Microcomms more than 23 years ago, he was keen for the company to do its bit to support the Pirates and in the years since, not only have we continued to grow and thrive as a Cornish authority on all things IT, we have also evolved into a fundamental partner of the popular Cornish Pirates team. And even today, with his two elder sons involved in the Penzance & Newlyn Rugby Club (aka, the U15’s and Colts divisions of the Pirates) and the new edition ‘Felix’ looking to make his ‘tag debut’ in a couple of years, it’s a partnership that remains close to Simon’s heart.

How it all began

Our relationship with the Pirates began with our involvement as a smaller, periphery sponsor during Martin Scrase’s tenure, but over time we have proven the value of a strong and cohesive IT strategy with all of the Senior Management and CEOs of the club. With the growing scale of contributions equating to larger exposure throughout the ground, Microcomms have been privileged to work with Dicky Evans and the Cornish Pirates. In other words, we are now a Premier Sponsor – a contra-deal that sees us provide the pecuniary value of our sponsorship via services as a technology partner.

Image of Cornish Pirates supported by Microcomms – the Technology People in Cornwall
The Cornish Pirates in action

What does our IT support involve?

Today, our role is to manage and safeguard the Pirates’ IT assets (both physical and virtual), and at the same time provide monitoring and consultancy services to ensure that the IT strategy is not only robust, but also optimised to perform to the team’s advantage.

We achieve all of this via a comprehensive suite of services. These include: Microsoft Office Applications, covering Office 365 and email hosting; the management of antivirus software and firewall protection to ensure cyber security; a reliable broadband connection; server support, management and maintenance; ongoing SLA tech support, including scheduled network health checks and other ad-hoc services; Audio Visual (AV) Solutions, covering both the maintenance of the digital signage and scoreboard, and the curation of signage content, including sponsor content and advertising; the installation of fibre cabling; and Wi-Fi across the ground, including the installation of access points, as well as links that ‘beam’ Wi-Fi to different areas of the ground.

In return, we are afforded sponsorship of one of the players (scrum half Ruaridh Dawson) and are included within the half-time advertising on the scoreboard. Pre-match interviews on social media feature our branding, and we are allotted pitch-side banners on which to advertise. We also have a Microcomms stand in the stadium, are given a handful of Match Day and Match Ball Sponsorships, and have our branding printed on the reusable match-day cups!

A mutually beneficial relationship

In short, it’s a great deal for both parties, but as we all know, when it comes to IT, it’s not always straightforward. There are always problems to solve and crises to be avoided. As an example, let’s take the seemingly unlikely problem of geography. The Cornish Pirates are synonymous with Penzance and its historic relationship with the sea. And while you may at first wonder what issues the Pirates’ proximity to the water might present to us as IT specialists, when you consider that the digital scoreboard on display at Mennaye Grounds (the Penzance stadium) is worth over £100,000, and then factor in the kind of conditions that it’s exposed to being so close to the coast, you may not be surprised to learn that the equipment does, in fact, require constant maintenance. This includes replacement of the specialist components housed within the display, as well as extensive testing to ensure it’s all working correctly when it comes to game days. This is critical for the Pirates, as a large portion of their income relies on digital advertising displays from both local and national league sponsors.

To help combat the weather, as a service, we offer AV Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM), which ensures that regular testing and auditing of AV equipment is carried out in order to significantly reduce the threat of hardware failure. We offer this not only on large, £100,000 digital scoreboards – which are, after all, a niche example here in Cornwall – but also on a smaller scale, usually included within a Service Level Agreement (SLA). It’s also used by many of our global clients to manage their AV assets and therefore ensure that critical points in their missions are not subject to equipment failure.

What does our role at the Cornish Pirates involve?

Our role at The Cornish Pirates is a comprehensive one, and it’s not always easy. But it is, we believe, testament to the quality of the services we can provide to organisations of all sizes. And in an age where a decent connection and a slick, reliable IT strategy have never been so key to the way in which the modern world does business, it’s reassuring to know just how achievable they are – even in Cornwall.

Image of Cornish Pirates supported by Microcomms – the Technology People in Cornwall
Microcomms are proud to sponsor the Cornish Pirates

Get in touch to see how Microcomms can help you with your AV technology.

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