Saracens Mavericks: Saracens rugby club invest in Netball Superleague club

Players from Saracens Rugby Club and Saracens Mavericks mark the start of their new partnership
Mavericks finished fifth in the Netball Superleague in 2018

Saracens Rugby Club have bought a 50% stake in Netball Superleague club Mavericks going into the new season.

The franchise have been renamed Saracens Mavericks, and will continue to be based at the University of Hertfordshire campus in Hatfield.

The partnership has been described as "mutually beneficial".

"Part of our growth strategy is to collaborate with others that share our ethos and help widen our audience reach," said Tim Hunt of Saracens.

Saracens Mavericks, who were formerly known as benecosMavericks, start their 2019 Netball Superleague campaign against Manchester Thunder at Super 10 in Birmingham on Saturday (19:00 GMT).

The rugby union and netball clubs will share resources related to elite player performance, have access to a wider fanbase, commit to community outreach programmes and integrate key business functions.

"Netball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK," added Hunt, who oversees the commercial operation at Saracens.

"Part of our growth strategy is to collaborate with others that share our ethos and help widen our audience reach."

Defending Premiership champions Saracens have previously cultivated a global network of rugby clubs, including Romanian side Timisoara Saracens - who are playing in this season's European Challenge Cup.

The club also opened a free school last autumn and say their reputation "extends beyond men's first-team rugby".

Mavericks are two-time winners of the Netball Superleague, and finished fifth in the table in 2018.

"This has been a fantastic opportunity to continue to push to be the standout, ultimate franchise within Superleague," director of netball Kathryn Ratnapala said.

"Saracens have proved to be role models and leaders in their field, and merging with this high-performance culture and club is a great step forward for Mavericks."

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