The English Seniors team consist of Paul Hackett, Gunnar Hallberg, John Holland, David Price, Colin Simpson and Tony Waterlow. They are sponsored by a company, Pharon Independent Financial Advisers, based in Canterbury, Kent. There is not a playing sponsor associated with Pharon playing in the team. Pharon is sponsoring the Seniors team in the upcoming European Championships and will continue to sponsor them in the World Mind Sports in Lille: The company has also guaranteed sponsorship for 2013. Roger O’Shea, founder of Pharon and bridge player, was a guest, along with Paul Hackett, in last Sunday’s show on the BTCC (BridgeTopics.com) the new web TV produced by Neapolitan Club and and BridgeTopics.com.
We took the opportunity to realize this brief interview, hosted by Jan van Cleef and Laura Cecilia Porro.
Mr. O’Shea, You are one of bridge partner of Paul Hackett and Your company is sponsoring the English Seniors team, is that right?
Yes I do play with Paul from time to time and we are sponsoring the Seniors team in the European Championships coming up.
Can You explain why You are doing this?
As a company we have to make sure our name is know, advertising on the traditional media is pretty ineffective and overly expensive, but sponsorship in this way reaches our natural audience which we are interested in.
In what field is Your company active?
We have two main parts of our business: one is managing pension schemes in the UK and the other one is wealth management, which is largely for individuals not for corporate organizations.
Hard times with the crisis, isn’t it?
I think the hard times are for the governmental bodies, for private individuals there is plenty of work and plenty of profit margin available.
Talking about pension funds, is that the reason why You want to be involved from a commercial point of view in bridge, because seniors may be very interested in pension management?
That’s partially it and people who are retired are likely in the UK to have more money than those who are not retired.
So the bridge world and especially senior bridge is the world You want to be seen in…
It’s a natural fit for us, and of course we have in this particular team probably the best team we have assembled in England for many years.
To be honest, You are a bridge player yourself, maybe You think it’s fun to be involved in this way?
Yes indeed it gives me the opportunity to meet a lot of these guys which I very much admire and occasionally to play with some of them as well, it’s part of my passion to play bridge as well as be successful in other areas.
What do You think a sponsor should do with regard to junior bridge?
Thisi a delicate matter because The EBU could be more to encourage general sponsorships rather than leaving to individual to seek sponsorship but the EBU have not really sorted that problem out, I have no doubt there would be sponsors for juniors
Are You going to Dublin?
No, but I hope to be in Lille later on.
June 8, 2012