ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rowdies and English club Norwich City FC announced on Wednesday the launch of a ground-breaking, transatlantic yellow and green partnership.
The two clubs confirmed a long-term deal that will see the EFL Championship side and its USL Championship counterpart join forces on exciting and mutually beneficial projects in the future. In addition to joint merchandising opportunities, the deal will see promising players from Norwich City’s Academy benefit from competitive loan spells with the Rowdies. The partnership will also open the door to further visits to the Tampa Bay area for the Canaries.
“There are so many synergies between our two clubs - far more than just the shared colors – so we’re delighted and really proud to be able to formalize our partnership,” said Norwich City FC Head of Partnerships Sam Jeffery. “The Rowdies are owned by the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team and their whole mantra is to be ambitious and work to bring young players through. That approach cascades down to the Rowdies and we want to share that same ambition with them.
“Rowdies Chief Operating Officer Lee Cohen and his staff have been a real pleasure to deal with over the last year and their generous hosting of our team training in November was executed brilliantly. We also have great links with Head Coach Neill Collins, who knows our Academy Manager Steve Weaver really well, so it’s such a no-brainer to formalize our partnership.”
The agreement further enhances Norwich City’s blossoming relationship with the Tampa Bay region, following the club’s major sponsorship deal with Visit Tampa Bay and last November’s successful visit for a warm weather winter training camp. That tour saw Norwich City first team players, coaches and sponsors embark on a pioneering trip to Tampa Bay, with Al Lang Stadium playing host to training sessions as well as meetings between coaches from both clubs to share ideas and experiences of the game from either side of the Atlantic.
“There’s so much opportunity for growth in this and in fact we’re currently in talks together around a really ambitious project that we hope will help set a lasting Norwich City footprint in the Tampa Bay region over the next decade and do a lot of good in the local communities over there and here in Norfolk,” said Jeffery. “We’re here for the long term and we really look forward to becoming part of the Tampa Bay sporting family.”
“Since hosting the Canaries at Al Lang Stadium last year, we have worked closely with the organization’s leadership team to develop a strategy to maximize the potential of our shared long-term goals to develop soccer in Tampa Bay, as well as to drive growth for both clubs globally,” said Cohen. “We recognize that this club is made up of a very special group of people, and we look forward to collaborating with them to bring talented players from Norwich City into our organization to be impactful from day one.”
More details regarding specific projects will be announced in the near future.