....along with two new broadcasting initiatives and a new three-year TV deal with BT SPORT.
The Football Conference is proud to announce that `The Vanarama National League` is coming to a ground near you!
In a re-branding initiative, which will under-line the competition's status at the pinnacle of the semi-professional game; and linked to a community programme the length and breadth of the country, the Vanarama National League will engage fans not only of the competition’s 68 member clubs but football throughout the UK and beyond.
The new `Vanarama National League` will officially take its place in the football family on June 6th and the changes will include a new look logo, whilst acknowledging the past it looks to the future, to strengthen the competition's identity.
The Vanarama National League will also launch a new broadcasting company, NLTV, which will be the first fully dedicated broadcasting channel focusing solely on the 68 member clubs, creating a regular narrative for the competition that will run throughout the whole season and lastly, in yet another first, the competition will create the all new NLTV Broadcasting Academy.
Brian Barwick, the incoming chairman of the new Vanarama National League said: "I am delighted to be joining at this vibrant time with this exciting new branding. It offers so much to our existing partners whilst at the same time opening up potential new opportunities. I look forward to steering this great competition to new levels of awareness and visibility.”
A further resounding endorsement for this level of the game and in support of the new branding initiative, BT Sport have agreed a new three-year deal with the competition which will extend the live coverage of matches and feature a regular weekly highlights show to be broadcast on a Sunday evening,
Tony Kleanthous, Board director responsible for broadcasting said: "We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with BT Sport and indeed embracing their expertise and experience. NLTV's aim is to launch a very affordable internet subscriber portal in 2016 where fans anywhere in the world can keep up to speed with what's going on across the activities of all member clubs and everything which affects them, their players and even their fans. The NLTV daily show will include short clips, podcasts and updates from clubs around the country and our new digital platform will also feature highlights from every game every week so you never need miss the action."
Steve Norris, commercial director at BT Sport said: "We are proud to continue our sponsorship of this level of the game with a significant further investment for another three years. We are also pleased to support the academy initiative which underlines our commitment not only to grass roots football but the future education for all the young students out there who want a helping hand up the sports broadcasting ladder."
Chairman of Vanarama David Bernstein said: "My extensive involvement in football over the years has allowed me to be connected with a wide range of initiatives. I am particularly excited by this announcement and the Broadcasting Academy is an educational project to which Vanarama is proud to extend its support. We have demonstrated our commitment to football and their communities up and down the country and want to continue working with an organisation whose vibrancy and ethos matches our own."
The final words come from the outgoing chairman of the Football Conference Brian Lee, who will complete his tenure at the end of this current season: "Our announcement around the name change, broadcasting channel and academy excites me and I sincerely hope it excites the football world. I know I am passing on this organisation in good shape and there is much more to come with the positivity showed so far it can only be more exciting for our clubs, our fans and the future of our game."
*BT Sport has also teamed up with Vanarama, to provide financial support for the all new "NLTV Broadcasting Academy". This will be another first for the industry, whereby forty-eight media students from around the country will be given the opportunity to be part of this exciting new initiative where they will be trained in filming techniques and then embedded with clubs, provided with BT professional broadcasting equipment and taught by BT Sport technical staff how to film, edit and stream media to a new production hub.
Tony Kleanthous added "This would never have been possible without the committed support of the commercial team at BT Sport and our hugely supportive title sponsor Vanarama who have committed extra funding and other resources to help get this worthy project up and running. This will provide students with the best teaching, using the best equipment in the best environment, real on the job training and I just can't wait to see the smiles on the faces of the graduates who receive the first diplomas we will be handing out next year."
Vanarama, the competition’s Title Sponsor, together with leading sports marketing agency SportQuake have combined to facilitate the name change and logo design, culminating in the announcement last month that Vanarama were extending not only their main sponsorship but adding support for the academy. This underlines their commitment not only to the competition but also to education and community. SportQuake specialise in creating world class two-way partnerships between rights owners and brands.