Atiba Lyons.
Head coach Atiba Lyons. Photograph: Andy Chubb.
Nick Hill

Sheffield Sharks team up with city's financial planners for new sponsorship deal

Future Life Wealth Management is backing the Sheffield Sharks with a new sponsorship deal.

Future Life, which is based in Renishaw, will sponsor the professional basketball team’s shirts for the new season which starts Friday, September 29th.

Jillian Thomas, managing director of Future Life, said she had become friends with DBL Sharks Sheffield head coach Atiba Lyons because, despite being in completely different fields, they had a lot in common.

The pair met in 2015 when Atiba approached Jillian for business support when she was president of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Jillian said: “As soon as we met we hit it off. I knew there was some connection. I had the misfortune of being caught up in the Boxing Day Tsunami and Atiba witnessed 9/11, so we have both seen major world-changing events that also changed us.

“The Tsunami was a terrible tragedy, but it was also a turning point for me. It inspired me to consider my future life – and that is where the company and the name came from. And I know that 9/11 had a major impact on Atiba.”

Established in 2010 by Jillian, Future Life Wealth Management offers a bespoke financial planning service to generators of wealth, typically business owners, executives and professionals, and also to receivers of wealth, such as inheritors, divorcees, widows and retirees.

This year the company will represent finance in the 2017 Parliamentary Review, an influential report which is sent to more than 250,000 business executives and policymakers.

Atiba commented: “I am delighted that her company is backing the Sharks for next season, when we hope to improve on our fourth place finish and get back to the top where we should be.

“Although Jill and I may seem a million miles apart, we realised there is lot in our past that is similar. As well as witnessing those major events, we both didn’t have it that easy as youngsters.

“Mine was growing up in Brooklyn, Jill’s was slightly less extreme; she had undiagnosed dyslexia and had to take a year out of her studies due to glandular fever. So we have both battled with adversity to get to where we are now.”

Jillian added: “The sponsorship is a mark of our friendship, but also because Sheffield really is a sporting city. Most people think of Wednesday and United, but there are so many diverse types of sport you can go and watch. As a city we need to celebrate sport even more and encourage more people to take part.”

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