Rocking new sponsor for under-13s team

British dance music legends The Prodigy are surprise sponsor for Eastleigh Juniors.

They have sold millions of records worldwide and headlined the biggest festivals on the planet.

Now British dance music pioneers The Prodigy have decided to get involved in football sponsorship… with Eastleigh Juniors Under-13s Red.

Last season’s Hampshire Cup winners - whose website is powered by Club Website - listened to the group’s music at high volume before games on their winning cup run.

When Prodigy main man Liam Howlett got wind of the news he immediately agreed to sponsor their home kit for the 2012/13 season.

The band - best known for their 1997 hit Firestarter - have had their iconic ant logo on the Eastleigh shirts during an unbeaten start to the season which has taken them to the top of the Southampton Tyro League.

Music journalist Martin James, whose son plays for Eastleigh and who helped put the deal in place, said that the sponsorship has further inspired the boys, many of whom are big fans of the band.

“Their reaction has been fantastic,” James told Club Website. “They are overwhelmed, really excited. These guys are heroes to them.”

“They are a really good side and a great bunch of lads who just love their football.”

“We needed a new kit so I said I’d put the question out there. Liam was really pleased to be able to help out. He loved the fact that the lads listened to their music before the match to get them in the zone.”

Team coach Chris Chapman said that the new sponsor proves a great fit for the team.

“We’re all about high level football, so we’re delighted that such a massive band have shown an interest in us,” said Chapman.

“The Prodigy is the perfect sponsor for Eastleigh Reds. Both have great skills, both play hard and both understand the power of teamwork.”

The Prodigy shot to fame in 1991 with their debut album The Prodigy Experience, long before any of the Eastleigh Reds players were born.

Over the last two decades they have enjoyed global success with each of their seven albums.

Their most recent release, 2009’s Invaders Must Die, has proved a particular hit with the Eastleigh players, featuring hits Warriors Dance and Omen.

Felix Tansey-Thomas, aged 12, said "I feel really proud playing in the Eastleigh shirt and having great sponsors makes that feeling even better.”

“When we listen to them before the games it really pumps us up and gets us ready to play."

News of the sponsorship has spread rapidly across the globe since the story first broke earlier this month, with the band having to field questions about the deal while being interviewed on tour in Brazil.

Howlett, the band’s writer and producer, has contacted the team to tell them how much he liked the shirts, but he is obviously not the only one.

The club has received requests for replica shirts from Prodigy fans around the globe, but they aren’t about to cash in on the deal, preferring to concentrate on matters on the pitch.

“The band aren’t in it for the merchandising and neither are we,” James added. “It’s all about the football.”

If the shirts do prove to be an Omen and the Eastleigh lads continue to set the league on Fire this season, they might find that they run Out of Space in their trophy cabinet before too long and that Everybody in the Place wants to come and see them play!

Dan Pope, Club Website editor

Main picture courtesy of The Southern Daily Echo.

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