With just under a month to go until the Giants return to action, Business Manager James Gordon provides an update to what’s been going on off the court.

It feels like an age since we ended the season with a terrific win over Plymouth Raiders at the Powerleague Trafford Sportsdome.

We pretty much started preparations straight away, already knowing that we would have a new coach in Danny Byrne, who has worked very hard on identifying the players he wanted to sign for the 2017/18 season. For the first time, the club will be bringing over imports from USA, and we are just currently waiting on the final visa paperwork to come through before announcing. The two players we have identified are really exciting and I can’t wait to get them announced and also get them over to Manchester and see them play.

From my point of view, increasing revenue in to the club was key, particularly through sponsorship. We have, unfortunately, been let down by a sponsor last week who had signed up very early in the summer, which while it hasn’t impacted on the playing budget, naturally impacts on some of the things I wanted to do. We do have an interesting promo event with bet365 bonus code in the next fortnight though.

Followers of our Instagram account may have seen some improvements being made to the home venue. A black backdrop has been added behind the one end, and we’ve also steadily been adding branding around the court, which will make things feel a lot more homely. As with anything, I’m always keen to hear feedback and we will always look at ways to improve where possible. Once again, we don’t have any home games in January but we are still working with the facility to improve the heating arrangement following feedback.

Last season, we had the roll-out court floor down for the first two matches. We have this for the TV matches in the season, though the main issue is logistics in terms of setting it up and taking down after a game. I am currently in discussions with prospective sponsors about this, as it would be a key improvement to the venue if we could make it possible.

For the USA Select game on September 3, we will have a lighting expert with us to try and improve the match day experience. Unfortunately, due to the configuration of the lighting, blackouts pre-game are not possible – frustrating, as that is something that I picked up from all 11 other BBL venues that I visited last season.

As well as the USA game, we will be playing a pre-season game at Sheffield on September 16, and I know Danny is keen to get probably another two games in too. As well as that, we will be going on a pre-season tournament trip to Spain, which will be crucially important in terms of team-building and getting the guys to get together and get to know each other ahead of the new season.

Thanks to everyone who has utilised our new online shop to buy tickets, merchandise and otherwise. This is a key addition to the club and we hope that as time goes on, it will become more attractive for people to use and also increase revenue for the club. 

Once again, Birthday Parties are proving popular and we’ve already had several booked for the new season. It really is a fantastic experience for any child, and our community staff do a great job of making that a real asset to a match day.

We will be keeping the same home and away kits as last season, though there will be some sponsorship additions. Instead, we are looking to release a home “shirt”, which will be a replica of the home vest but in a football shirt style. I recently spent some time in Glasgow with the Braehead Clan ice hockey team and they have a very popular version of this called a “sockey” top, and that’s where the inspiration comes from.

If you, the company you work for, and anyone you know might be interested in sponsoring the Giants, please do put them in touch – we have courtside advertising, Player Sponsorship, Match Sponsorship and Business Club opportunities still available.