It’s a match made in Belfast and Glasgow, and after 10 years of support, R.G. Hardie & Co. is renewing its sponsorship deal with the Grade 1 Field Marshal Montgomery and, considering FMM has won six World Championships and a few dozen other majors during that time, the sponsorship seems to be good ROI for both parties.
About half of FMM’s pipers are playing modern drones made by R.G. Hardie, and Pipe-Major Richard Parkes said that, “I have been delighted with the contribution these pipes have made to the band’s overall drone sound over the years.”
R.G. Hardie Managing Director Alastair Dunn, who is also FMM’s Pipe-Sergeant, said that his company has worked with the band to test and develop products, including Hardie’s Piper Flex Jacket, Piper Brogues, Piper Socks and Weather Resistant Piper Bag Cover.
“Our past sponsorship of FMM has proven to be very beneficial for our company, and we are delighted to return as the band’s primary sponsor for the foreseeable future,” Dunn commented.
Parkes added, “FMM would not be able to do what we do without the sustained support of R. G. Hardie & Co. Since 2006, their sponsorship has helped enable the band to win 39 major championships, and six of the last 10 World Pipe Band Championships. Like most pipe bands, we are a volunteer-based organisation. Thanks to R.G. Hardie & Co, we are able to minimize the worry about how the band will dress and equip itself; more time and effort is therefore made available to developing and refining the music and our performances.”
Sponsorship deals with pipe bands, particular in the top grade, are increasingly with manufacturers in the piping and drumming industry. Examples of mainstream organizations backing pipe bands are infrequent, with ScottishPower, Gleneagles hotel and a few police forces among the exceptions with Grade 1 bands.