Fresh at Brunton Park this season is a brand-new ball plinth, sponsored by members of our blossoming Norwegian Branch, which now takes centre stage as the players and officials walk out of the tunnel ahead of every game.
The Norwegian Branch, which has now been in existence for close to 15 years, have previously sponsored the club’s mini-bus, winter clothing for the under-18 squad and, most recently, donated money to help with Academy projects and tournaments, taking their overall sponsorship total to close to £9,000.
Commercial manager Jenny Anderson said: “I’ve worked with the Norwegian Branch for a number of years and they are huge fans of the club. They sponsor us and support us whenever they can and I’m sure fans will have seen their name and logo around the ground and around the city a lot over the years.
“The sponsorship of the plinth started as a coincidence because I was in the office talking to Pål [Meier] when the subject of securing a plinth to use before games at Brunton Park cropped up.
“He listened and, once he heard that the club was going to go forward with the scheme, he immediately said that the Norwegian Branch would like to take up that sponsorship opportunity.
“In addition, he indicated that he wanted a ground board for the Branch, on the Pioneer Stand side of the stadium, and that was also very quickly finalised.
“It’s fantastic that the Norwegian supporters have been able to get some really visible recognition for the amazing support they give us, and that Pål has also been able to showcase the name of his business in Flekkefjord at the same time.”
Chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “Our Norwegian fans give us terrific support, despite being so far away. We’re always delighted to see them when they come over and we are really grateful for their generosity.
“It’s only right that their support should be recognised, and it’s fantastic to see their branding so prominent around the ground and on the plinth.”
Pål Meier said: “The Norwegian Branch started up around 15 years ago and my first visit to Brunton Park was for a match against Kidderminster on 10 April 2004. The Blues won 1-0!
“Some time after, at the beginning of May in that same year, we came over from Flekkefjord again to watch the Blues play against Cheltenham. It was a very important match which could determine if Carlisle could stay in League Two or not. The match ended 1-1 and United had to face being in the Conference the following season.
“Would we in the Norwegian Branch come over the North Sea to Cumbria to watch Conference League football at Brunton Park? Yes, we did!
“Since then we have been travelling to Carlisle every year. We love Carlisle United and the city of Carlisle. In these 15 years we have made many friends in Carlisle who we meet before and after the matches.
“In 2014 six of our Carlisle friends visited us in Flekkefjord and we had a nice weekend together in the south-west of Norway. Most of the Norwegian Branch members lives in Flekkefjord, so we have ‘Flekkefjord Carlisle UFC Blue Army’ included in the Norwegian Branch.
“We always visit The Blues Store before we go to the game. Jenny [Anderson] and the girls in the store knows us well and they always take good care of us. I met Jenny again this autumn and we were talking about how the Norwegian Branch could sponsor The Blues.
“We felt the ball plinth was a good idea and we are very proud to see pictures on the club’s website of it out on the pitch before matches. We also have a ground board with my company name on, and the text ‘Proud sponsor of CUFC by Norwegian Supporters Branch & Flekkefjord Carlisle UFC Blue Army.’
“I have visited Brunton Park about 40 times in these 15 years and have also been at 10 away matches. I hope to do the same in the next 15 years. In my eyes Brunton Park is a kind of an exotic place in the football world, and I am very proud to be a sponsor of the club.
“After all these years, the club is in our hearts! Up the Blues!”
Visit the Meier + Kydland Tannklinnikk official website HERE.