An entrepreneurial Aberdeen duo have welcomed English Championship football club Millwall to the fold in a business they set up to help sports fans raise cash for clubs or organisations as they shop.
Fantastic Fanatics, which has been operating less than a year, follows the model of other fundraising initiatives where online shoppers can have some of their spending diverted to a favourite cause.
It is the brainchild of Danny Cowie, managing director of Granite City-based investment group Jasmine Holdings, and business partner Barry Munro.
They have partnered with football, rugby, netball, cricket, swimming and hockey clubs, as well as community groups, to help develop a new income stream during lockdown.
Users can raise cash for these by buying goods and services via the websites of a large and growing list of companies, including the likes of Boots, B&Q, Currys PC World, JD Sports, John Lewis, Clarks and Sky.
There are plans to expand the scheme to in-store purchases, further increasing the potential for helping UK sport.
Current Scottish partners include Scottish football league clubs Stirling Albion, Cove Rangers and Elgin City, and Highland League teams Keith and Inverurie Locos, as well as Club Sport Aberdeen and Scottish Swimming. Rangers supporters’ group Club 1872 is also a partner.
London club Millwall, whose 1-0 win at Hull City on Saturday took them to ninth spot in England’s second tier, said the scheme could raise significant funds from a “large, passionate and motivated support” for its youth development and community work.
Mr Munro, who worked for oil and gas technology company Gyrodata in various engineering roles before becoming operations director for Fantastic Fanatics, said it had always been the plan to roll out the platform across the UK.
He added: “We had great success in north-east Scotland before branching out across the country. The reaction from clubs outwith Scotland has been excellent as well – not just for football but also netball and cricket.
“During lockdown, clubs large and small have lost huge amounts of revenue. This is a simple and easy way to drive funds to clubs, to help make sure they will still be here when sport can (fully) get going again.”