Granada scores with Sunderland

Commerical sports division to launch licensing and merchandising push to expand appeal of Black Cats in international markets.
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Granada Ventures is out to prove that it's not just the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea that can have successful licensing programmes, signing a deal with Sunderland FC to represent the club across sponsorship, media and publishing.

The firm's commercial sports division will establish and manage the licensing and merchandising programme - it already acts as commercial agents for both Arsenal and Liverpool, so has plenty of experience in the field.

There are already significant plans to grow the Sunderland brand and expand the club's appeal outside of its regional origins into a national and international market.

Claire Murphy, commercial sports director at Granada Ventures, said: "Sunderland AFC has a strong and passionate following and we are really looking forward to working with such a high profile and well supported club. There is huge potential for growth here, and we are keen to build on the existing fanbase, with a strategy in place that will develop some of the club's key commercial areas and celebrate its return to the Premiership."

The firm has already secured a number of deals: GB Eye will be producing club posters, prints, postcards, badges and stickers; Football Mania will be responsible for glasswear, car products, clocks, stationery, key rings and melamine; Home Win will produce ceramics, souvenirs, luggage, pet products and plush; Pineapple Aroundshot will have a selection of framed and mounted photos of the squad, players and grounds; and Zap has bedding, curtains, towels, rugs and cushions.

On the fashion front, Adrenalin will produce a supporters' arm skin with club crest and tattoo design; World Centre will launch a range of nine carat gold and sterling silver jewellery; and Score Draw has a line of retro football shirts and track jackets.

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