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Together

Five minutes with Mark Cueto…

Executives from Together joined fellow partners of Sale Sharks to celebrate their sponsorship of the top-flight rugby club and watch the squad prepare for the coming season.

Hundreds of visitors were at the annual corporate BBQ at the club’s Carrington training ground, where they got the chance to witness a first team training session and mixed with fellow commercial partners.

We caught up with former England rugby legend Mark Cueto, Sale Sharks commercial director, to find out his views on the club’s ambitious owners, Simon Orange and Ged Mason, their latest signing, South African Faf de Klerk, and their plans for the future.

What is the thinking behind the annual corporate BBQ?

“We’ve got more than 100 partners and sponsors at varying levels. Add to that seasonal hospitality members and there is a huge source of support there for the club. One of the first things that Ged and Simon, the new owners, wanted to do was to give something back to our supporters. It is amazing how many came, obviously because of the rugby but also to seek business opportunities. It’s rare that they would have the opportunity to do that on a match day and it has been great to get everybody here to enjoy themselves in such a relaxed atmosphere.”

How do you see Sale Sharks’ prospects for the coming season?

“It’s an exciting time. It is the first time in a long while that there has been such a level of investment. The owners are really ambitious and have a different strategy, in that they want to build a sustainable club and business. We’ve signed five international players and it’s the first time we’ve had players of that calibre for a decade.”

Co-owner Simon Orange has spoken about his desire for the club to buy its own stadium. Can you tell us a bit more about those plans?

“To build on our sustainable business model, we need to own our own stadium, to increase our match day revenue but also so that we can make the most of other opportunities and revenue streams such as events and conferencing. The owners are in talks at the moment to try to acquire the (AJ Bell) stadium and, I think they are quite a way down the line with that.”

How much do you know about your latest signing, South African international Faf de Klerk?

“I’ve obviously seen him play and he’s an exciting player. He’s only 25 and he’s already been capped by South Africa. To get a cap so young is a big achievement and shows the guy’s ability. Since we’ve signed him, I’ve kept a close eye on him and he’s been playing really well with the Lions (South African team), in the Super Rugby competition, so we’re excited about the prospect of him playing over here. I think Faf’s signing really shows the intent that we have as a club.”

Find out more about Sale Sharks at: http://www.salesharks.com/

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