Demon signs Al Fayed's Fulham for £1.5m

Demon Internet today kicked off a three-year sponsorship deal with Fulham Football Club, underlining the UK ISP's ambition to grow its home user business.

Demon announced a £1.5 million deal with the Nationwide Football League Division Two club at a press conference held at the club's Craven Cottage stadium in west London. That figure made the deal the biggest in the Football Legaue and bigger than 25 per cent of Carling Premiership arrangements, according to David Furniss, sales and marketing director at Demon. The contract covers shirt and perimeter advertising, as well as hospitality and merchandising.

"This places us a big player and will help us become a household name," Furniss said. "Our intention is to grow our business very aggressively in the next five years. The general industry trend is moving away from online services to Net access and we already have a substantial number of residential users."

The attention on growing the number of home users is a different tack for Demon which has in the past been identified with business users but Furniss said that there was a natural fit between Demon and Fulham.

"This gives us access to ABC1 users aged between 21 and 35. You look at other sponsorship deals and there's a lot of wastage. We're very much on the up and up and so are Fulham."

Fulham has been revived in the last year after Harrods tycoon Mohamed Al Fayed bought the club and was quickly joined by Kevin Keegan as chief operating officer and Ray Wilkins as team manager. Since then, the club has bought its way to becoming a serious promotion contender.

Three other IT firms have football sponsorship deals in the capital: Elonex with Wimbledon; Viglen with Charlton Athletic; and Hewlett-Packard with Tottenham Hotspur.

Demon has over 150,000 users, the vast majority of whom are UK-based.

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