From West End to Covent Garden: A Night of Opera for the Leicester Riders Foundation

Morningside Arena Leicester is excited to host “West End to Covent Garden”, an Opera evening hosted by Octave Opera Group on Febuary 14, 2024. 

Octave, founded by Jill Worth, will perform music to raise money for the Leicester Riders Foundation’s incredible work throughout the Leicestershire community. The Leicestershire-based opera group consists of only local signers, and performs for charitable causes around the county. 

Jill is the wife of Bill Worth, a founding member of the Loughborough All-Stars in 1967, which would later become the Leicester Riders. 

Octave will host an evening of live opera entertainment, as they take you on a musical journey featuring iconic songs from Les Miserable, Phantom of the Opera and many more classics! 

Enjoy a 2-course sit-down meal and a cash bar throughout the evening. We will also be hosting a charity auction, featuring numerous items of sporting memorabilia, events and experiences.

Jill Worth commented: “It feels absolutely brilliant to give something back to the Riders, who I have had a lifelong connection with through my husband, Bill. It should be an amazing night. 

“We have something for everybody on the night, so please come down to the Arena and support the fantastic work of the Leicester Riders Foundation.” 

Tables of 8 and 10 are available at £40 + VAT per head, offering a perfect opportunity to enjoy the night with friends, family, or colleagues. 

You can associate your company brand with this charitable event, as we offer sponsorship opportunities for £100 + VAT per advert.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of this incredible evening. For reservations click here.

For sponsorship inquiries, contact [email protected].

Join us for a night of live opera in the heart of Leicester. You can make a meaningful impact on the Leicester Riders Foundation’s charity initiatives.

Leicester Riders Foundation brings Highscross Hoops to Leicester’s Highcross Shopping Centre

The Leicester Riders Foundation and Leicester Riders are excited to announce that on Saturday, 16th December, we will be hosting a Leicester Riders takeover in Highcross Shopping Centre.

Highcross Hoops will be located in a prime location on the lower mall of Highcross Shopping Centre near Luke 1977 and Damaged Society, and will include a court for activations with our Leicester Riders Foundation team, a merchandise area and visits from our professional players throughout the day.

The event is the perfect chance for us to interact with the local community and provides us with the opportunity to promote the wide range of community sessions that we offer across the county. 

Jo Tallack, General Manager of Highcross Shopping Centre said: “We’re excited to welcome The Leicester Riders to Highcross this festive season. It’s a great opportunity to be able to support the Foundation at our busiest time of year, while also bringing our visitors a unique experience to take part in.

“Whether you’re visiting the centre to do your Christmas shopping or stopping by for a festive sweet treat, Highcross Hoops is sure to bring a smile to your face.”

The Foundation’s county-wide sessions include our New Years Community Camp at the Morningside Arena, to which we are offering places through the Leicester City Council HAF programme, which provides children in Leicester who receive benefits-related free school meals with free activities and a healthy meal during the Christmas break.

There will also be exclusive Leicester Riders merchandise offers ahead of Christmas and purchase tickets for Riders fixtures at the Morningside Arena over the festive period.

Laura Shephard, General Manager of the Leicester Riders Foundation, added: “We are thrilled to have the chance to display the incredible efforts of the Foundation at Highcross. This is an invaluable opportunity to show Leicester the work that we do in our local area through our community sessions.

“During the height of Leicester’s Christmas shopping season, we’ll bring exclusive Leicester Riders merchandise and tickets to the heart of Leicester, which will make for excellent gifts during the festive period. We are also excited to be able to provide the chance for Riders fans to meet their favorite players!

“I’d like to extend my gratitude to Highcross for providing us this priceless platform to highlight the Foundation’s initiatives across the county. We can’t wait to see you there!”

If you are in Leicester on Saturday, 16th December, make sure you come down and get involved in Highcross Hoops with the Leicester Riders and Leicester Riders Foundation!

Riders Business Club relaunched!

The Leicester Riders Business Club relaunches next month – with sponsors invited to take to the court.

The first event of the season takes place on September 13 – two days before the 2023-24 British Basketball League season starts for Riders at home to Cheshire Phoenix.

Sponsors are invited to bring a senior contact along as their business club guest to showcase what Riders sponsorship offers for local organisations.

Guests will join a basketball session led by coaching staff, enter into a prize draw, and network with other business leaders.

They will be welcomed by Leicester Riders chairman, Kevin Routledge, and get an update on the work of the Leicester Riders Foundation from General Manager Laura Shephard.

There has been increased interest this summer in Riders corporate packages. Player sponsorship has increased 50% year-on-year, the vast majority of last season’s corporate sponsors have renewed, and new businesses joining for first time include Better IT, Abel Alarm, 2XL Commercial Finance, and Griffin Fit.

Next month’s business club is the first of several the club is planning for the 2023-24 season. Each will have a different theme and focus, while providing a look behind the scenes at the Riders, Foundation, and Arena.

Kevin Routledge said: “We’ve been building our business offer over the summer following the arrival of Tracey Hallam as our commercial manager and our partnership with 1284.

“The support of our sponsors is crucial, not just for the Riders but also for our community foundation and the arena itself.”

Loughborough-based 1284 provides award-winning B2B corporate communications to innovative public and private organisations in the East Midlands.

George Oliver, Managing Director of 1284, said: “We’ve been involved for a couple of years now and are really excited about getting more involved with the new-look Riders Business Club.”

The second Riders Business Club meeting of the season will take place on November 20.

It has been arranged to coincide with the Morningside Arena hosting the World Snooker Tour, giving guests a behind-the-scenes look at the Arena’s staging of international tournaments.

For more information on partnering with the Riders, please contact [email protected], or read more about our sponsorship opportunities here!

Sponsor Spotlight: Red Monkey Play

Leicester Riders are thrilled to continue their relationship with Red Monkey Play for the 2023/24 season. 

Red Monkey Play are one of the UK’s leading wooden outdoor play equipment and playground designers for primary schools and nurseries.

The bespoke school playground equipment service offers its expertise with free design and consultancy.

The Leicester-based business creates unique playgrounds for schools and nurseries with excellent design, perfect for any play and learning areas, and children of all ages and abilities.

Red Monkey Play will sponsor Riders forward TJ Lall for the upcoming year.

Simon Winfield, managing director of Red Monkey Play and chairman of the Leicester Riders Foundation, commented: “As proud sponsors of the Leicester Riders Basketball team, Red Monkey Play is thrilled to extend our support for yet another year.

“Our enduring partnership with the Riders family has proven to be immensely rewarding, fuelling our growth and success over the years of collaboration.

“Beyond the courts, what truly inspires us is the remarkable impact that the Riders Basketball and Foundation have on the local community and young people.

“Being able to contribute to such meaningful initiatives aligns with our core values, as we firmly believe in the significance of giving back to the community. 

“As we eagerly anticipate the upcoming 23/24 season, we wish the team the very best of luck in their endeavours. Together, we will continue to make a positive difference and build a brighter future for the local community.” 

For more information on partnering with the Riders, please contact [email protected], or read more about our sponsorship opportunities here!

Leicester Riders launch rebrand

Leicester Riders are excited to present their rebrand ahead of the 2023/24 season, ushering in a new era of Riders basketball. 

The Riders are proud to have innovatively evolved throughout their 56-year history as Britain’s oldest professional basketball club. This rebrand allows the club to continue modernising, 10 years on from the launch of its previous logo.

This marks a fresh start for the club, with a revitalised roster of young talent ready to take the reins and add to the Riders’ rich history. 

The updated brand incorporates every facet of the club, from its community work with the Leicester Riders Foundation, its player pathways and development through Charnwood College and Loughborough University, to the first teams in the BBL and WBBL.

The club would like to thank its partners at 5or6 for their support during the rebrand.

Leicester Riders managing director Russell Levenston commented: “It’s been 10 years since the previous logo was created, as we thought it was the fitting moment for us to re-evaluate the Riders brand.

“Looking at how branding has changed over the past decade, we thought it was the right time to refresh ours.

“Thank you for all the work 5or6 has put into supporting the club, both with the rebranding and their continued support through the years. We have worked closely with the team there since they designed the last logo in 2013.

“What is especially pleasing is the new brand’s versatility, and how it can incorporate everything we are about, from our pathways and community work through to the pros.

“These are exciting times for the club, and we look forward to seeing how the brand grows over the coming years. We hope everyone loves it as much as we do!”

A message from Mo

Hello everybody! It’s great to be back! 

I’m so happy that the management, coaching staff and fans still believe in me after all that we’ve been through. 

I’m grateful to be able to reach and motivate others, sharing the blessings that basketball has allowed me. 

As you all know, I’ve missed some time with injury over the last couple of seasons. It’s been a long road, but God and my girlfriend have helped me mentally. They have been with me every day to help me heal and grow as a person on and off the court. 

During my recovery, I enjoyed working with the Foundation. I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes and in the community around basketball.

Connecting with the kids was great: helping to motivate and inspire them to get through any difficult times they face. 

Now I’m healthy, I can’t wait to get back out there. Expect us to give our best effort every time we step onto the floor. Personally, I expect myself to bring veteran leadership to help the younger players learn and grow. 

I know the fans will have our back every game and bring the energy and noise we need in tight spots to get us over the edge. 

I’m excited to still be a part of the Riders. I’m grateful to be able to make up for lost time, and I’m looking forward to being back out there with all the fans!

Praise God.

Mo Walker

Riders re-sign Walker

The Riders are thrilled to announce the return of Mo Walker for the 2023/24 season. 

It will be the Canadian/British big man’s fourth season with the Riders, after signing for the 2020/21 season. 

Walker was an integral part of the club’s treble-winning success in 2022, averaging 11.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game that year. 

Before last season was cut short due to injury, the  University of Minnesota graduate was putting up 10.3 points and 4.5 rebounds, shooting 58.6% from the field. 

“I’m excited to still be a part of the Riders!” said Walker. 

“Anyone who has followed the club and has watched my journey knows I have lost time in the past due to injury. But I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to make up for lost time, and I’m looking forward to being back out there in front of the Riders fans!” 

“We are all looking forward to having Mo back on the court for us next season,” commented Head Coach Rob Paternostro. 

“I thought he started off very well last season and was playing good basketball before the injury. He can be very difficult to match up with, can score in different ways and has the ability to put real pressure on the opposing defence.

“Mo has always shown great leadership during his time here and we have valued that on and off the court.”

Meet the new members of our commercial team

We are excited to announce new members of our commercial team!

Tracey Hallam- Head of Commercial

We are delighted to welcome Tracey Hallam as the new Head of Commercial. In her role, Tracey will be supporting the three companies, Leicester Riders, Leicester Riders Foundation and Morningside Arena. 

Tracey has a wide breadth of commercial experience and is a big Riders fan, having joined from one of Riders’ sponsors, 360Autoleasing. Tracey will provide leadership on sponsorship, marketing, ticketing, corporate communications and sales.

Alejandro Medina- Marketing Executive

Alejandro Medina has also just joined us from the Business School at the University of Leicester, where he was President of the University Basketball Club and a marketing major.

Alex has been liaising with us on a range of interests over the last 3 years while he was an undergraduate and will focus on all aspects of marketing. 

Charlie Walker- Corporate Communications Executive

Charlie Walker has joined from the University of Derby, where he received a Sports Journalism degree. Charlie has been working with the club over the last three years and has been a regular contributor to the website, social channels and publications.

Rahul Khanna- Data and Systems Analyst

Rahul Khanna is another new recruit from the University of Leicester, where he was a Mathematics major. He is joining as a data and systems analyst, helping our businesses to really understand all our customers, and our partners, and their engagement with us. 

“We are delighted to welcome the new members of our commercial team,” said Riders chairman Kevin Routledge.

“We believe there are great opportunities for us to support Leicestershire
businesses, and Tracey will provide the right leadership.”

To learn about the opportunities available, contact [email protected].

Thank you for your continued support

Leicester Riders Chairman Kevin Routledge has thanked all Riders fans, after an outpouring of support following the postponement of the BBL 2019/20 season.

The BBL announced last Tuesday a suspension of the current season indefinitely, because of the national measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

No date has been set for a possible resumption to the season, with the BBL awaiting updated Government advice.

“These are challenging times for the Riders, and the BBL, in common with other professional leagues and clubs.”

“Indeed the challenges are being faced across a lot of sectors of industry in these unprecedented times, and so we have to be understanding, and keep a perspective.”

“In addition, we are rightly proud of the work in the community of our Foundation, but now their activities will be significantly curtailed, particularly due to the schools closure.”

“We are also extremely proud that we were the first club in the BBL to build their own venue, the Morningside Arena, and that too had to be closed to the public as of last Friday evening, with the most recent announcement by the Prime Minister.”

“The public generally may not be aware, but the Morningside Arena is owned by our charity, the Leicester Riders Foundation, and inevitably, as the largest indoor venue in the city, it has significant overheads.”

“If any of our supporters, or the public, wished to provide further support, donations to our Foundation will greatly assist us continuing with a reduced service.”

“The total loss of revenues to those three organisations, as a result of the suspension and closures, could reach £1 million, depending upon how long the closures continue.”

“This means it will take some time for us to recover.”

“We are exploring every opportunity to continue to make some use of the arena, in line with Government advice and guidelines, during these challenging times.”

“But we have been overwhelmed with messages of support from our players, fans, sponsors, funders and suppliers.”

“We are particularly thankful that we have not yet had a single request for a ticket refund for the advanced sales for the remaining Riders home games, which is hugely helpful to sustaining our businesses through these difficult times, while we find out if the season can resume.”

“In addition, all our sponsors have remained very supportive and are offering their help and expertise.”

“Also, all the players and staff of the Riders, and the staff of our Foundation and Arena, have stepped up and voluntarily agreed short term reductions in wages to help get us through these unprecedented conditions.”

“And we have been delighted with the support from our main suppliers, who have shown great flexibility in terms of payment, notwithstanding some having their own difficulties.”

“We have also had support and advice from the Council, which has been very helpful, particularly recognising that the demands on their leadership and staff are immense in these circumstances.”

“We particularly welcome the announcement by the Chancellor on Friday night, to support keeping people in work. That will be boost for all businesses like ours.”

“We are also aware that the BBL is having conversations with national government to see what support might be forthcoming because of the damage to our sport.”

“The Riders continue preparations so that we can restart to finish the current season, although understandably some of our overseas players like Kyron Cartwright, Corey Johnson and Namon Wright returned to the US, in light of pending or threatened travel bans by American authorities.”

“We will address the strength of our playing squad, once clarity is provided on what happens next.”

“The Riders will also accelerate our preparations for next season, and in that regard we will launch our season tickets offer for the 2020/21 season later this week.”

“Any of our fans who can afford to buy theirs soon would make a huge difference to the short and medium term sustainability of the Leicester Riders.”

“I understand that many of our fans and their families are facing similar financial uncertainty, but even a small contribution could go a long way.”

“Meanwhile everyone at the Club, the Foundation and at the Arena remains resolute, and determined to stay safe, comply with Government guidelines, and get back, in due course, to normal business.”