Article courtesy of Motive Offshore Group Limited
Motive joined forces with local club Deveronvale FC as main sponsor in 2019. Based on our shared values around people, community, and determination, and with many of our employees avid Vale supporters, the partnership of like-minded individuals made perfect sense.
With it being impossible to socialise together for such a long time, it was great to catch up this week with Deveronvale FC’s Calum Lawrie and Jim Mair as the first game on home turf approaches, and we all look forward to hopefully better days.
So much has happened at Deveronvale in the past year, new signings, the addition of the club’s first Head of Media James Simpson and of course in January the appointment of new Manager Craig Stewart.
Improvise, Adapt, Overcome
While there have been tough times for the club during COVID, the Vale never lost its motivation and now feels in a better position than ever in terms of commercial focus and community engagement.
Time away from the day-to-day grind has created space for creativity and the result is a multitude of positive developments, not least the launch of the hugely successful club podcast: Valecast. Hosted by James “Simmo” Simpson and Calum Lawrie, the podcast is filmed on Wednesdays, available via YouTube, Spotify and all other major platforms every Thursday, and has a live episode planned soon. (Don’t miss the upcoming episode featuring Motive’s very own Ryan Thomson!)
Deveronvale came up with the podcast idea primarily to stay connected with their fans, community and corporate partners during lockdown, as Calum puts it:
“It was a way to keep the fans and the team close together, to keep up the interaction during a time where no football was being played. What started as a way of introducing Craig as the club’s new manager has turned into a weekly show that gives the supporters to opportunity to hear what is going on both on the pitch and behind the scenes at the club. The show has also raised awareness and interest in the club from new supporters outwith Banff, thanks to increased engagement on social media and has given us the opportunity to forge new partnerships with small businesses across the country”. ~ Calum Lawrie, Commercial Director @ Deveronvale FC
Although unable to enjoy any events or activities together during 2020/21, Motive has appreciated being able to keep up with what is happening via Valecast. With an entertaining and slick format, it is a tool that will reap its own rewards and the club has lots of ideas for how it will be used in future, with plans for matchday filming sharing pre-match build up and post show highlights.
As the new season approaches, the club is excited to welcome back the fans, and behind the scenes are busy putting in place all the necessary COVID safety protocols to keep everyone safe during matches.
The first game against Brora Rangers takes place on Saturday 24th July, with a few friendlies planned from 7th July and open to fans.
One thing Motive values above all else is its people and our team spirit, we truly are #OneTeamOneMotive and this is one of the reasons we are so proud to align ourselves with the Vale, who share this sentiment.
When COVID hit, players and managers immediately waived their wages – without such commitment and loyalty, the club would simply not have survived.
Jim Mair, Club Chairman commented: "The past 16 months, since Scottish football was shut down because of the pandemic, has been a very challenging time for individuals, families and clubs, the very fabric of our local community. I have been greatly encouraged and impressed by the support Deveronvale has received from supporters, sponsors, players, management and volunteers, without which I think the club would have not made it through to today. Whilst we all look forward to getting back to a pre-pandemic normality, we still have some way to go and the resilience that everyone has shown so far needs to remain part of our DNA for, at least, the short-term future. The board of Deveronvale are very grateful for the support received and would thank everyone for their continued help".
Deveronvale management were quick to realise at the start of the first lockdown the potential toll, the isolation, lack of social interaction and solo training could have on its players and volunteers and set in motion a plan to work with people on an individual basis to provide extra support, including zoom calls and utilising Strava to easily record and share training progress.
To further keep up morale whilst doing their bit for the community, players and management set up a series of fundraisers that included Zoom quiz nights, racking up nearly £5k for local charity Home Start Deveron, and a sponsored 24-Hour Run.
Displaying true team spirit during the 24-Hour Run, many of the participants from the first half stayed up all night to cheer on their counterparts tackling the night-shift. With live updates on Facebook, keeping fans in the loop, the event raised an outstanding £4,250.00, shared equally between Friends of Chalmers Hospital, Banff and Whitehills Community Hub.
Vale Manager, Craig Stewart said “Supporting the local community is a key goal of the Club and something that everyone at Deveronvale strongly believes in. I was very impressed with the commitment and enthusiasm that everyone showed, even those who did their 1 hour runs when they should have been in bed”!
Club Captain, Ross Aitken said “The players and management really enjoyed doing something to give a little back to the local community, in a small gesture of appreciation for the support we get from the folks in Banff, Macduff, Whitehills and the surrounding area. We fully intend to continue this sort of effort in the coming months”.
Like Motive who work hard to encourage young people into the industry, Deveronvale are committed to encouraging young talent from the local area and have an excellent track record in supporting younger players. You will always get a game at Deveronvale! The current team is a nice balance of younger and seasoned players.
Be a part of it!
If you live in the Banff or the surrounding areas and are looking for something different there has never been a better time to get involved with your local football club.
There is currently a part-time vacancy for a Kit Assistant to join the team. Deveronvale also have a friendly, loyal team of volunteers who are always looking to welcome new helpers. You don’t even have to be football-minded - it’s truly a sport that brings folk together and volunteering at the Vale is a great way to meet new people. The club are always on the lookout for an extra pair of hands so do get in touch if you would like to know more.
If you don’t have time to volunteer there’s plenty of other avenues for both individuals and businesses to get involved – advertising opportunities, the monthly 50-50 draw, some very cool merchandise via the Vale online shop and much more.
Visit the Deveronvale FC website or socials for more information: www.deveronvale.co.uk
A team above all. Above all a team.
Everyone at Motive wishes Deveronvale FC all the very best for the long-awaited new season.
It must be said the Vale are truly a supporter’s club, with its roots firmly grounded in its community. This is clear from the little touches like running colouring and kit design competitions for its younger supporters during lockdown, to the ongoing fundraising efforts during what was a challenging time for the club itself.
So next time you have a weekend free why not think about taking the kids along to a game? You will be made extremely welcome, and it might just inspire the next Vale superstar!