Flamingo Land zoo has become the new shirt sponsor of Hull City football club.
And fans in East Yorkshire have welcomed the sponsor as being more local, despite it seeming “a bit odd.”
The logo for the zoo, near Malton, will feature on the front on next season’s kits at the club known as the Tigers.
“It’s better than some of these betting companies, and it’s good for the kids,” said Richard Beachell, chairman of the Driffield and Wolds branch of the Official Hull City Supporters Club.
He added: “Kids’ll be able to have the sponsor on their shirt where as before their shirts were blank because it wasn’t allowed to have a betting company logo on a children’s shirt.”
He added: “When I first saw it, it reminded me of when we used to have Twydale Turkeys as a sponsor all those years ago.
“At least it’s a little bit more local, but it’s such a strange thing to have on your shirt. It’s a bit odd. It’s come right out of the blue.”
Mr Beachell, a farmer at Bainton who usually misses the first few games of the season because he is harvesting, added: “”It’s not a national sponsor either, which makes you think that we’re not going to get the investment we need to get us back into the premier league.”
The deal was struck between Flamingo Land’s chief executive Gordon Gibb and Tigers Commercial Manager Simon King.
Mr King said: “Flamingo Land is a great asset to tourism in Yorkshire with a real family ethos which we feel is the perfect fit for the Club. The partnership will be fun and will provide both parties with the opportunity to interact with each other’s core followers to ensure the supporters also benefit from this new deal.”
So what experience does Flamingo Land have of tigers, apart from the footballing kind? In March last year the resort was proud to announce the birth of three Sumatran tiger cubs born to resident mother and father Surya and Bawa.
The cubs, a boy Kuasa (meaning powerful) and two girls, Mentari (princess) and Bulan (moon) are now 16 months old and said to be doing very well
They will stay with their mother for up to two years before being transferred to other zoos as part of the international breeding programme for this critically endangered species.
Originally established in 1977, Flamingo Land is Yorkshire’s No. 1 attraction and the UK’s most visited Zoo. The resort based in the Ryedale area of North Yorkshire is a popular holiday resort able to accommodate more than 5,000 people in a range of facilities including log cabins.