Sela donates Newcastle Utd logo branding to hearing loss charity RNID and launches haptic shirts

April 11 – Newcastle United’s main sponsor Sela has gifted front short logo position and pitchside advertising rights to deaf and hearing loss charity RNID for the club’s home game against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.

Sela will introduce haptic shirts to help deaf fans feel the sound of St. James’ Park in what the club says is a world first.

Haptic technology within the shirts transforms the noise of the stadium into real-time touch sensation.

Fans and the match day mascots, who are deaf or have hearing loss, will be wearing the shirts in the stands.

Ibrahim Mohtaseb, senior vice president of Sela, said: “Ensuring every fan is able to experience the amazing atmosphere is so important to us as a sponsor of Newcastle United.

“St. James’ Park is renowned for its noise and passion. Through this initiative we hope to enable deaf fans and fans with hearing loss to feel a part of this.

“We would welcome the whole football family to join us by adopting the technology. By acting now, we can collectively make watching live football matches an incredible experience for everyone who loves the game.”

Founded in 1997, Sela was Saudi Arabia’s first player representation company and grew a sponsorship business that began by negotiating deals for Saudi clubs and led the commercial and operational arm of the Saudi Premier League.  It has since expanded to other sports properties.

It has also expanded to event management services and the curation of experiential moments that build engagement and connect with audiences.

The initiative, taglined ‘Unsilence the crowd’, is very much in line with Sela’s mission of enhancing match day experiences.

Peter Silverstone, Chief Commercial Officer at Newcastle United, said: “When Sela shared the idea and technology behind the haptic shirts, we supported the concept immediately, knowing it would make such an impact to our supporters who are deaf or have hearing loss.

“Newcastle United’s partnership with Sela continues to provide spectacular experiences for our growing global fanbase. We are also proud that, together, we can shine a light on the positive work of Newcastle United Foundation as well as the City of Newcastle, itself…

“We believe that ‘Unsilence the Crowd’ will be truly game-changing for football and expect this campaign will revolutionise the football experience for any fan who is deaf or has hearing loss, regardless of which team they support.”

Teri Devine, director for inclusion at RNID, said: “One in five adults in the UK are deaf or have hearing loss, but people often face barriers in everyday life – including in live sports events. It’s fantastic to see Sela and Newcastle United leading the way in championing this technology which has the potential to have a real and lasting impact on how people who are deaf and have hearing loss experience live sports.”

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