Seymour Sign & Print part ways with Manchester Storm

It’s with sadness and reluctance that we’ve decided to part ways with the Manchester Storm Ice Hockey Club.

Our partnership formed just before the 17/18 Season, when we were asked by a contact in Scotland if we’d be interested in providing some vehicle signage to the Storm, as this wasn’t something they provided and being based in Scotland wouldn’t be viable.

A deal was struck, and the players cars were signed up, and throughout the season we were asked to produce various other things, you’ve probably seen our logo around the arena, as much of what we did was provided in exchange for advertising space.

We’re not wet behind the ears, and we know that popping our logo around the arena wasn’t going to generate a huge increase in Sales, but combined with the Business 200 club, and the social media exposure, it wasn’t going to do us much harm.

The season ended, we’d supplied various bits of printing & signage to the storm, but little of it was invoiced. Reviewing the cost of the we’d produced and provided at no cost to the club, when discussions started for sponsoring the club for the new season, we explained our position.

We’ve never really been Ice Hockey fans, and it was by chance that we go introduced to the club. At the first meeting with Ryan, the only thing we knew about Ice Hockey was that there were fights… and that sounded interesting, returning to the office and googling Ryan, it appeared he was quite a dab hand at brawling on the ice.

Whilst we’ve enjoyed watching and following the Storm, as a small family business it didn’t make financial sense to do the same this season. We met with Ryan and had an honest discussion with him, and we agreed a deal for our continued support for the new season.

Part of the deal was to supply the Programmes, and we explained how it would be more cost effective to reduce the page size, maximise the size of the sheet we can print to. As a small business, we knew the artwork would be the time consuming aspect, and asked that they start getting content to us as soon as possible, we could then start putting together the basic page layouts.

That didn’t happen, and I’m sure you noticed the first few issues of programmes were lacking in content, or the overall design was pretty poor. With little time to design, print and deliver the programmes we did what we could… we’ll admit it wasn’t our finest work, but we had less than 1 week to turn it around from blank pages to what you saw.

At the end of September, we receive a call asking if we’ve received the artwork for the programme, of which we had not. The artwork for the programme was received in the early hours of Thursday morning, and on viewing the file supplied, we discover the artwork is now back at the larger size, and there’s no bleed on the pages. Later that morning we get finally get confirmation of the quantity required for Friday, in time for the weekends home game.

The goal posts have moved a little now, the programme is larger, effectively doubling the amount of paper required, and print time, in addition we’ve been given 1 day to produce the programme, that included ordering the paper in.

As we always do, we quoted on producing the programme to the new specification, but it was clear it wouldn’t be financially viable for the club, and advised that reducing the page size would reduce the cost and a revised quotation was submitted, later that morning we’re informed that the job’s been taken elsewhere based on our initial quote, despite after our initial quote being asked to requote at the smaller size.

We’re not crying over spilt milk, and we understand that the programmes need to be viable, they’re a source of income for the club. But the lack of communication and organisation from the club was a recurring theme.

We’ve produced the advertising boards around the rink, and again these were received sporadically, with urgent additions, artwork that hadn’t been sent, artwork lost, we even spent time recreating artwork that a previous member of Storm staff had produced and taken with them for one sponsor. Each time dropping them off at the arena, whether it was a single one or a handful.

We’re not here to slate Storm, but as a business we cannot operate in this manner. We’ve other customers, and we endeavour to provide the best service and quality, where we can, we go above and beyond to meet deadlines and deliver. As a small company time is important and it imperative that we use that time efficiently.

When we started working with the Storm, it was Ryan’s passion and vision for the club that had us sold, we wanted to be part of Storm’s success, see it grow and most importantly be thrash the Steelers, we thought we were forging a partnership, but it appears this was gross mistake on our part.

This is how we make our living, and sometimes we need to make difficult decisions, and this has been one of them. In the interests of our business, our livelihoods and our families, we feel it best we part company with the Storm. Divert our time, energy and resources into other projects.

It’s been several weeks since this materialised, and we’ve had no further explanation or discussion with the club regarding our future with the club. We feel our good nature and trust has been abused, and going forward our defences will be increased regarding any future sponsorship or advertising opportunities.

We’d like to thank Storm for their custom, and wish Ryan & the team all the best for the remainder of the season, we wish them every success with their choosen design & print provider in the future.