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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Dan Pope
Writer at Teamer
Freelance writer, editor and copywriter, with a passion for grassroots sport. A right back turned football writer, Dan is the former editor of Club Website and has been lucky enough to work in the field of grassroots and community sport for the last 10 years.

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  1. Ken Bates on October 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Would this be the same Prodigy who released a controversial single called ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ in 1997…? Yes, it would. Lovely for youth football to be associated with that.

  2. Martin Thomas on November 7, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Ken, as well documented at the time, and common knowledge in hip hop/dance music circles, smack my bitch up means ‘handle my business’, or in other words ‘take responsibility for my actions’ – which is a very positive massage.
    Furthermore, if we’re going to attack bands for all of their misguided (or otherwise) decisions we’d have to treat The Beatles in a similar light. After all, the original lyrics to Get Back were very racist, Lucy and the Sky with Diamonds extolled the virtues of LSD etc etc. In fact the history of popular music is open to this kind of debate.
    I think the fact that a globally successful band was prepared to sponsor a youth team should be celebrated not condemned. After all, how many premiership footballers sponsor youth teams?

  3. mark kavanagh on June 11, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    just wondering if background music can be added to club background

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