Rhino Rescue Sharks
From Deep Water 2008
19 May 2008
The Cornish Sharks American Football Team found itself in deep water recently when just four days before an important game in Wales they were told by the League they had to change their football strip. Unfortunately, their opponents the South Wales Warriors, had been let down by their shirt supplier and needed to wear their alternate strip which is white and having home field advantage, this meant that the Sharks had to wear a different colour. Having only just had their new shirts made in white (by Rhino Sports), which at the beginning of the season meant they wouldn’t clash with anyone, the Sharks were in a really tight spot.
There were only two choices – hire or borrow some practice shirts or get some new shirts made. Not to be put off, Head Coach Brian Smallworth got to work calling all his many contacts made during the 40 years he has spent coaching American Football and two organizations agreed to help and managed to pull off a last minute miracle. “The problem of the shirts is not just a matter of colour, it is much more important than that. We have responsibilities to our sponsors, who have paid to be on our shirts, and of course, it is a matter of morale for the team – our players are proud to wear Sharks shirts” explains Head Coach Brian Smallworth. “If the team had to wear practice shirts for an important game, they would already feel on the back foot. We are an extremely lucky team in that we have many supporters and sponsors and one sponsor, with whom I was already in negotiation agreed to pay for the new set of shirts and our other sponsor Rhino Sports based in Sheffield, having checked their stock for the materials, said that if they worked overnight they would be able to get our shirts made by Thursday and despatch them to arrive on Friday. That was subject to us getting a design to them and approved by 10am on Wednesday morning.
“Our club marketing officer who had been heavily involved in the rebrand of the Sharks just a few months ago, completed the designs late on Tuesday evening and emailed them to Rhino. Their design team worked with us to get them finalized and agreed and at 11am on Wednesday morning all was agreed, the funds were in place and we pushed the button.
“True to their word, Rhino delivered the shirts on Friday afternoon and on Saturday the Sharks players received their new shirts on the coach on the way to the game.”
He continued “It really was a marvellous effort by all involved and the Cornish Sharks want to publicly acknowledge the wonderful job done by Rhino Sports and thank them for their wonderful support. I would highly recommend them to any team who has difficulty with their existing supplier, as they are always more than helpful, have good quality products and as has been illustrated by this event have a wonderful customer focussed ethic. We would also like to thank our sponsors, without whom we would not be able to function as a team. It was great to see the players run out on the pitch in their new shirts with the sponsors’ names on and see how proud they were to wear their Sharks jerseys.”