Preston North End bolster their commercial department with new arrival

Stephen Hobin is PNE's new head of commercial partnerships
Stephen Hobin is PNE's new head of commercial partnerships

Preston North End have a new man in place in the Deepdale commercial department as they look to grow revenue off the pitch to aid the progress on it.

Stephen Hobin started the role of the Lilywhites’ head of commercial partnerships last week.

His task is to boost the amount of money coming into the club through commercial revenue streams.

Hobin hails from Preston but recently he worked for Norwich in a similar commercial role.

He was the Canaries’ head of partnerships, working for them when they were in the Premier League and Championship.

On joining North End, Hobin said: “I am delighted to be given this opportunity by the board to build a partnership portfolio befitting to this famous football club.

“My goal is to build a portfolio of local, regional and international partners and drive our non-matchday revenue.

“We are very lucky here to have some very long-standing local partners, many of which have been with the club for many years.

“To compete in the Championship financially, a strong commercial portfolio is vital and of course this directly helps the manager.

“It’s a simple equation really, the more income we generate the stronger we become.

"The installation of new state-of-the-art LED technology at the ground gives us the opportunity to reach a wider audience than ever before.

“It is an exciting time to be joining the club.”

Any additional revenue which can be brought into the coffers will be seen as vital.

Preston are looking to grow the commercial side of their operation and grow their turnover.

In terms of budget and wage bill, they are in the bottom four or five in the Championship.

Hence them competing on the pitch at the upper end of the division is testament to the work of Alex Neil and his squad. Preston rely on the financial backing of their owner Trevor Hemmings to operate.

To stand on their own two feet more, extra commercial revenue is vital.

Whether helping to grow the crowds at Deepdale is on Hobin’s to-do list, remains to be seen.

But a stronger commercial department won’t do any harm on that front, helping to bring in stronger links with the city.

After six home league games, North End’s average attendance is 13,298, including away fans. Brentford, Wigan, Hull City and Luton are lower.

The sold-out signs went up for the League Cup clash with Manchester City, 22,025 inside Deepdale that night.

There is an audience out there but ways are needed of persuading them to visit more often than when a big-name club come to town.