December was only days old when we set off on the road to Scotland for the Betfred Cup Final between Celtic and Aberdeen and as usual we weren’t left disappointed by Scotland’s League Cup…..
The entire competition has been given a lift since Betfred became title sponsors and the group stage was brought in, and the third year with the Warrington based bookmaker’s involvement was no different.
A closer game than previous finals, where Aberdeen could count themselves unlucky with a few chances and in particular the injury to Gary Mackay-Steven, at a time when he was just beginning to have an impact on the game, but the Betfred and Celtic ‘love affair’ continued as the Hoops lifted the League Cup for the third year in a row.
High flying Solihull Moors were pitted against Blackpool in the second round of the FA Cup and although they took the Seasiders to a TV replay at Bloomfield Road, even the carrot of facing Arsenal in round three just wasn’t enough to carry the Moors over the line.
We were back up to Glasgow only days after the Betfred Cup Final, but this time on league duty, as Rangers played league cup runners up Aberdeen in one of the least rousing games you could wish to see.
Although reduced to ten men with the early red card of Sam Cosgrove, the Dons stood resolute and even though the 32Red sponsored Gers ‘gambled’ by pushing extra bodies forward, an equaliser was nowhere to be found.
We managed to get to The University of Bolton Stadium to see the Trotters take on Leeds in the latest ‘Sports 360 derby’ (we brokered both kit sponsorship deals) and it was Leeds who came out on top, took the points home and prolonged Bolton’s poor run of form.
Netball had an absolutely outstanding month with a three-nil series hammering of Uganda early in December and then a couple of nominations at the 65th Sports Personality of the year awards for good measure.
Just when you think a year in which you won a gold medal couldn’t possibly get any better, the Vitality Roses picked up two awards in Team and Moment of the year, beating some genuine world class performers to each accolade. A great end to 2018 and a fantastic launch pad towards 2019 and the upcoming World Cup…………………Well played girls!!!!!!!!
The PDC World Championship got underway this month and although Jasic sponsored Gerwyn Price couldn’t build on his impressive year and exited in the early rounds, it was still as fascinating a tournament as ever, packed with darts of the highest order.
Michael Van Gerwen ran out a deserved if not unexpected winner for the third time……..Keep your eyes peeled next month as well, as there might just be Darts news to announce.
Just as everyone was about to hang the stockings and leave the carrots out, we were fortunate enough to be invited to the fight of the decade between Carl Frampton and Josh Warrington at the Manchester Arena. An unbelievably ferocious fight was played out over the full twelve rounds and although Frampton had his moments, he just couldn’t live with the pace, fitness and ferocity of Warrington and the Yorkshireman was rightly ahead on all three score cards, allowing him to retain his IBF World featherweight title.
At the tail end of the month we had a vested interest in two fascinating football matches. 32Red were beamed around the world before, during and after one of the biggest Old Firm derbies in many a year and we were on hand at Holker Street to dress the ground in Vanarama colours ahead of the LIVE BT Sport game between AFC Barrow and high-flying Salford City.
Rangers managed to secure all three points for the first time in 13 attempts and put real pressure on Celtic at the top of the SPFL going into the new year. Shirt sponsors can generate fantastic exposure if aligned with the correct club and results like this one only serve to magnify the quality and effectiveness of such deals.
Meanwhile in Barrow, the home side ran out winners by the odd goal in five and although the weather no doubt helped two wonder strikes on their way, it was proving somewhat of a hindrance to the post-match man of the match presentation.
As with the ‘magic’ of television and indeed all good magic, the assistant (although playing a vital role) often takes a back seat once the ‘reveal’ comes around, but due to the potential for the wind to cause havoc, BT Sport and TV legend Matt Smith was momentarily side lined as Sports 360 entered stage right and got the job done.
It was a great December for us at Sports 360 and a light-hearted end to the festive month and as the old saying goes…………. “All’s well that ends well,” and 2018 certainly did!
Thank you to all those that we work with and alongside and Happy New Year!