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Bedford Blues - More than just a rugby club

Written by Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce | 05 Jul 2019

In a bid to grow our Business Ambassador Programme, we’ve been out in the Chamber community identifying members who fit the bill. 

Gareth Alred, Chief Operating Officer of Bedford Blues, is an ideal candidate. 

With a passion for the club’s sustainability - both as a business and a Bedford institution - Gareth is an active presence within the community.

We spoke with him about what it means to become an ambassador, and how he hopes to use this platform to bolster the club’s long-standing relationship with the local community.

“As such an integral Bedfordshire landmark, we feel a responsibility to our community. Part of our ethos is to be the ‘Passion and Pride’ of our community, but we realised we were reliant on our local supporters coming to us, therefore we changed many of the ways we operated to connect further with our community by going to them. 

“By joining this programme, I can further champion and support more local businesses, while pursuing our own goals to become more active in the community.

“Becoming members of the Bedfordshire Chamber has helped connect us to local and reputable organisations and enhance our network.”

The club has always been a family-friendly destination and has actively worked to improve it’s facilities for the next generation as well as marketing its benefits for supporters of the future. The club’s recent Season Ticket marketing and social media plan included the hashtags #BluesFamily and #differentshadeofblue with fans and players featured in a series of videos to document what makes the club great! Many of them spoke about how the club represents the town’s history and traditional values while bringing together generations through its family-friendly atmosphere. 

Gareth claims this success is underpinned by a commitment to their values. These values have been rolled out through the club’s relatively new Community Department and Project, helping transcend across everything the Blues deliver.. 

These are:

  • Bravery
  • Loyalty 
  • Unpredictability
  • Enjoyment
  • Sportsmanship

Gareth added: These values can been seen across everything we do; from on the pitch, to in the office, and out in the Community. Culture can be an overused word, but there is something special about Bedford and the Blues, and we plan to further grow our brand in the region and reach more of our community through our values.  

One of the clubs many pledges is the reconnect with younger audiences, and this commitment to Bedford’s youth is demonstrated by their range of outreach projects including lesson support, clubs and mentoring schemes. 

Their next venture is the launch of a partner charity which will be focused on working across Bedfordshire and neighbouring areas with the vision is to inspire a community through the values of rugby for the advancement and promotion of positive and informed lifestyle choices. 

Gareth hopes that his work through the Business Ambassador Programme will enable him to use the Bedford Blues’ reputation to support new and developing businesses, attract more people into the town, and spread their values far and wide. 

With five venues on site, a growing events platform and a charity, the rugby club is a year-round business. Bolstering local employment by offering roles in events, security, management and hospitality, and with a pledge to help improve lives through rugby, it’s safe to say Bedford Blues are ‘more than a rugby club’. They are a commendable example of how a local business can take advantage of its position to bolster the wider business community.

If you are interested in finding out more about our Business Ambassadors Programme or you think you might be a good candidate, please get in touch.  

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Topics: Bedfordshire Business Ambassador

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