SWINDON Robins have struck a deal with Excalibur Communications which will make the Westlea-based company the club’s title sponsors for the 2013 campaign, the Advertiser can exclusively reveal.

The agreement, which will net the Robins a significant five-figure fee, will also see Alun Rossiter’s side sport Excalibur-branded, purple kevlars in away meetings next season - a move believed to be the first of its kind in British speedway.

Swindon co-promoter Gary Patchett said the package represents massive progress for the club as it looks to build on the success of its Elite League title-winning term.

“It’s the first title sponsor we’ve had in my time with the club and it’s very big news for the club,” he said.

“It means we can plan further ahead than one season, we can think more long-term and invest in assets in the club - which is something we were very conscious we needed to do because we’ve lost several heat leaders over the last few years.

“We haven’t been in a position to do that until now but on the back of our success last season and this sponsorship we’ll be able to do it in the future.

“Part of the agreement that we’ve got is that the two businesses will enter into a protocol to take our two companies and the sport into a much closer relationship with the local community.

“I think it’s the first time we will have seen a racesuit that is dedicated to the sponsor’s corporate identity and livery and that’s where we feel this will be unique.”

Excalibur are investing heavily in local sport in the region, having recently agreed deals to sponsor both Swindon Town manager Paolo Di Canio and the Stratton Bank at the County Ground.

Chief executive James Phipps stressed how important it is for business to support local sides in difficult economic times.

“It’s integral for us to help support things like speedway and the local football, things that people care passionately about and support.

“It’s tough times, there’s a recession going on as we all know and it’s good to give the resources and the help,” he said.

“In many ways, not just purely financial, it’s to help the club grow through difficult times and to reward some of the loyalty that some of the fans are showing when they put in as much money as they can through tickets and merchandising.

“It wasn’t just about writing a cheque, it’s part of trying to bring speedway to a new audience. I think we can help with that.

“We deal with more than 5,000 companies across the UK and do have a good reach.

“I think we can bring that reach into schools and local communities to try to make the sport where it should be.”