Forum for the Future: Single Doncaster Rovers ‘brand’ for Keepmoat sports clubs

MAN WITH A PLAN: Doncaster Rovers chief executive Gavin Baldwin.
MAN WITH A PLAN: Doncaster Rovers chief executive Gavin Baldwin.

THE four main sports clubs who call the Keepmoat Stadium home will all come under the Doncaster Rovers ‘brand’ if plans by chief executive Gavin Baldwin come to fruition.

From next season, the Dons have agreed to wear red and white hoops as their away kit, matching the shirts of Rovers and the Belles.

And the Free Press understands there are also on-going discussions with Doncaster Athletic Club over adopting the red and white.

Creating a single brand for the sports clubs will help strengthen community ties, according to Baldwin.

And he believes this strong ‘Doncaster’ identity will make the Keepmoat more profitable when control is passed on from the council.

He told the Free Press: “We’re working with our tenants at the moment and looking to create one branding for the stadium.

“We’re also going to come together as community foundations through our charitable arms so we can do more work in the community.”

Since arriving at Rovers, Baldwin has been working on a Doncaster Rovers Sporting Club concept, first reported in the Free Press in March.

Most recently, Doncaster’s American football side the Mustangs have moved under the Sporting Club banner alongside handball and boccia teams while strong links have been forged with Danum Eagles’ wheelchair basketball section.

The operation of the stadium will be in Baldwin’s hands once Rovers assume control from the council on a 99-year lease.

While targeting a profitable facility, Baldwin must also meet a condition laid down by the council to ensure the Doncaster community will benefit from the stadium.

He said: “My success, pass or fail, will be measured on how we work to improve the communities of Doncaster.

“One of the biggest aspirations of the major shareholders is to use the brand of Rovers for the social regeneration of Doncaster and I’ve been tasked with that.

“It sounds like a cliche but we will be backing it up with action and that means players going into schools, it means our charitable foundation will be working with disadvantaged groups.

“The council’s confidence in us running the stadium as part of the lease is that we’ve got to deliver far more for the communities than this stadium has ever been used for before.”

As part of cutting costs at the stadium, Baldwin is targeting a smoother operation for all occupying clubs.

He said: “The stadium was run in the past by the Stadium Management Company, it had its tenants and the catering organisation and all of those elements had their own teams of staff.

“The easiest way to save money is to not have to pay for six teams.

“For instance we’re talking to the Dons about doing their payroll and HR and have one very good team doing the work across the board at the stadium.”