University sport clubs embroiled in Ziggy’s sponsorship debacle

LUCY DIXON

LUCY DIXON

THE UNIVERSITY of York’s sports clubs are facing a budget shortfall as a result of Mansion’s (formerly known as Ziggy’s) potential change in ownership.

The club closed over the summer months, but has reopened for Freshers fortnight and is still facing closure if a buyer does not emerge by the end of next week.

Uncertainty over Ziggy’s future has created problems for many of the sports clubs that frequent the establishment. Many of these clubs had negotiated lucrative sponsorship deals with the previous management and are now in doubt over the future of their deals.
The larger of the Sports Clubs have been most affected by the recent changes, including the University of York Boating Club (UYBC), Netball Club, York Hornets, and Football Club.

Sam Asfahani, York Sport President, has stated that YUSU intends to support any club which has lost out financially as a result of Ziggy’s actions.
The University of York Boating Club had begun negotiating a twelve hundred pound deal with Mansion last term. Due to the confusion over whether or not Ziggy’s would reopen and remain open, the club has been left without a large part of their funding.
The club’s social secretaries, Edward Grande and Edward Scobie, who negotiated the agreement, have been unable to contact the specific manager who they dealt with. They released the following statement: “The Boat Club had nothing totally confirmed with Mansion in regards to sponsorship for next year, but will be looking to continue previous years of good relations.”
The York Hornets have also had a sponsorship deal with Ziggy’s. The Hornets’ Chair, Emily Hogan, said: “We were definitely planning to continue sponsorship, however, we’ve been unable to contact anyone from the club – they appear to have gone completely off the radar.” Hogan expects that the Hornets’ budget will suffer as a result of the loss of sponsorship; losing around two hundred pounds as a result.
The sponsorship deals for many of the clubs appear to have been negotiated by manager Ed Barker. However, Nouse was unable to contact Barker or any of the management team.

“We will of course be supporting and representing any sports club that has lost out financially”

Sam Ashafani – York Sport President

Tim Fong, an employee of Ziggy’s, appeared unaware of any changes to ownership when questioned. He commented that he expected the venue to remain open for the year, and had not heard of any of the changes.
The venue is renowned for its association with the sports clubs, and there has been some speculation that the latest development may damage their relationship.

Emily Hogan, York Hornets Chair, stated she thought it unlikely that the recent changes would change the relationship that most sports clubs have with Ziggy’s. “The only thing that might slow the social activities is the uncertainty created.”
David Potter, a member of the Squash Club, said that he thought it was unlikely the sports clubs would go elsewhere. But he stated: “I’ve heard that Gallery are putting on some interesting events; such as ball-pits and regular foam parties.”
The confusion generated through Ziggy’s transitions has suggested the possibility of competition from other clubs. The lucrative Wednesday night sports slot has traditionally been held by Ziggy’s. Over the years the club has gone through a number of changes, whilst retaining the patronage of the sports clubs.

Last year Ziggy’s underwent extensive refurbishments and rebranding to emerge as Mansion, although it retained the original name for Wednesday night.
Jeyoon Kim, Street and Breakdance Rep for DanceSoc, said that: “At the moment it is where everyone goes on a Wednesday, and so if there’s a rumour that its closing all the sports team will be looking for potential other places to go.”
Kim continued that the clubs might find somewhere they liked, or offering superior drinks deals.
The potential loss of sponsorship comes at a time when societies are facing cuts across the board.
Angus O’Brian, Football President, had the following to say about the cuts facing the sporting societies, particularly his own: “Although we were disappointed with a slight cut to our grant, we have been able to increase our revenue through greater sponsorshp.”

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