Saracens Rugby Club has acquired a 50% stake in Vitality Netball Superleague team benecosMavericks in what it describes as a “mutually beneficial partnership” that will help fuel the next phase of growth for both organisations.
As part of the move, two-time Vitality Superleage winners Mavericks will be renamed the Saracens Mavericks.
The team, which plays its home games at the Hertfordshire Sports Village and includes England players Sasha and Kadeen Corbin on its roster, will retain its existing sponsors and remain independent of the Saracens commercial programme in the short term.
The venture will include sharing of resources and insight for elite player performance, access to a wider fanbase, commitment to community outreach programmes and the integration of key business functions.
Saracens is pursuing a multi-sports model as part of its strategic growth. The north London-based Premiership club, which also owns and operates a local school, sees the acquisition of Mavericks as complementary to its Global Clubs Network programme.
Tim Hunt, who oversees the commercial operation at Saracens explained: “Netball is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK and we are excited to be joining forces with Mavericks. Part of our growth strategy is to collaborate with others that share our ethos and help widen our audience reach.
“To achieve this, the dual-priority is to create an environment where our elite teams continually strive for sporting excellence and to inspire our local communities to lead healthier, happier lives through the positive power of sport. Mavericks mirror our culture making them a perfect match for Saracens.”
Kathryn Ratnapala , Director of Netball for Saracens Mavericks added: “This has been a fantastic opportunity to join forces with Saracens and continue to push to be the standout, ultimate franchise within Vitality Superleague. Saracens have proved to be role models and leaders in their field and merging with this high-performance culture and club is a great step forward for Mavericks.
“We would like to thank Benecos for their support for the last two years as we continue to work with them as our title sponsor this season.”
The 2019 Vitality Netball Superleague season got underway on 5th January with the Super 10s event in Birmingham Arena.