A Premier League football club is sending its name into the skies as part of a special sponsorship deal.
Sunderland AFC, whose nickname is the Black Cats, will sponsor their namesake Black Cats Helicopter Display team at the Sunderland International Airshow 2016.
The display team, made up of volunteers from the Royal Navy’s 825 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) and the Lynx Wildcat Maritime Force, have been together since 2001.
This summer they will be flying their Wildcat helicopters at the Sunderland International Airshow on July 23 and 24, when they will be sponsored exclusively by SAFC and its SoL leisure brand.
The four-man squad, usually based at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton, Somerset, will be staying at SoL’s Hilton Garden Inn hotel throughout the weekend and will utilise Sunderland AFC’s Academy of Light training headquarters for take-off and landing.
“The Black Cats Helicopter Display team was named after the fierce cat depicted on the emblem of the now disbanded 702 Naval Air Squadron and also pays tribute to the naval slang term of blackcatting, which means doing or owning something better than someone else,” said Lt Cdr Dave Lilly.
“While we have no specific football affiliations we are more than happy to share our name with the Black Cats of Sunderland and look forward to taking to the skies over the North East in July with sponsorship from SAFC and SoL”