A ‘Totally Wicked’ performance from the Saints
On Thursday 9th February, St Helens RFC opened the Betfred Super League 2017/2018 season with a narrow 6-4 win over rivals, Leeds Rhinos. This close fought encounter not only marked the start of the season but also exposed The Totally Wicked Stadium as the home of the Saints in the first competitive game at the ground.
Totally Wicked has sponsored St Helens RFC since 2013 and in November 2016, struck a deal which saw Langtree Park renamed ‘The Totally Wicked Stadium’. Here at Totally Wicked, we are immensely proud to sponsor the Super League giant and we were delighted to see the Saints start the season with a full blooded performance and an important win.
Fraser Cropper’s message to the fans
Some of the media’s coverage of St Helens new stadium name was less than positive and another excuse for particular news sources to once again slam vaping. To help reassure fans, Fraser Cropper, Managing Director of Totally Wicked had his say via an insert in the match day programme:
“As many Saints supporters will be aware, Totally Wicked has been a supporter and sponsor of the club for 4 years, sponsoring the North Stand and the team’s shirt. It is understandable that to some, particularly those who have no experience of vaping, that a brand such as ours may seem somewhat incongruous with a sports club. However, I believe, as does your Board, that there is a clear and important connection between the responsibilities of a sports club such as St Helens and products and a business that exists only because of smoking’s prevalence and its devastating impact on health. I understand very personally from my own experience how often sport and personal well-being is used by smokers as a ‘tool’ and motivation in their own journeys to break free from smoking’s grasp.
I mentioned smoking, not because vaping is in some way smoking wrapped up in ‘new clothes’ but because our company and other vaping businesses exist only because smoking continues to be enabled by societies and governments around the world. Smoking is the developed world’s number one killer. Not only is it the insidious killer of millions each year, it is a desperately addictive product. Smoking’s addictive nature is only partly as a result of tobacco’s nicotine content, a significant contribution to its addictive nature is the many hundreds of toxins that combustible tobacco deliver. It is these toxins that not only kill but also increase significantly the potency of smoking.
Vaping is a remarkable product. It has been able to deliver a solution for millions of smokers that governments and business have been unwilling or unable to deliver previously. There has been much maligning of our sector, many vested interests disturbed by the success of vaping, yet many hundreds of thousands of lives positively affected in the UK. Vaping is not smoking. It is manifestly safer, not the words of a vaping business MD, but the conclusion of authorities such as Cancer Research UK, the Royal College of Physicians, ASH and many more that understand the enormous benefit vaping is, and needs to continue to bring to the UK’s too often maligned and ignored smokers.
With our now very explicit support of your club, I hope you can also understand the leadership your club’s Chairman and Board have shown in realising this and showing courage to want to engage this positive narrative that too often is undermined by counter interests and our media. I am very proud of our business, our customers and our staff and I am also committed to ensuring our business’ success is shared, particularly within our North West community, which is a significant factor in our financial support to your club. We understand how important St Helens RFC is to you its supporters and the local community. I can assure you our business understands this and will ensure that our sponsorship brings as much benefit as possible to the club both on and off the field of play.”
Totally Wicked key players show their support
To mark this milestone occasion, a number of key players from the Totally Wicked HQ attended the game to show their support. On the bitterly cold Thursday evening, the St Helens players certainly made them proud. The players gave it their all and after going behind early on, they battled on and secured a 6-4 victory thanks to a Theo Fages try which was converted by Mark Percival.
Totally Wicked wishes St Helens RFC the best of luck this season and will be showing our support throughout.