A Word From Our Sponsors

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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7 Responses

  1. Brenton says:

    I don’t think that Barca fans would allow it. It would certainly make the iconic FCB badge look a little tawdry, especially after having an international charity emblazoned on the shirts for a year or two.

    Jerseys (yes, we’re talking about North America now) in Canada and the US have remained sponsor-free in all the major pro leagues: football, baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer. If there’s a league that is more crassly commercial than the NFL, I haven’t seen it, yet their jerseys remain sponsor-free. I’m not sure why, and it can’t be because we think our club brands are more sacrosanct than UK football clubs’.

  2. Matt says:

    It is a bit ironic that the NFL jersey’s remain sponsor free seeing how US sports seem to lead the way in commercialisation. Americans still see the jersey as the ultimate representation of the team so it remains off limits. Plus, from a practical standpoint, in the NFL, the numbers on the front and back of the jersey might take away some of the best advertising real estate.

    Brenton, MLS jersey’s are sponsored. The owners in that league were very willing to follow the European model in that regard. The Galaxy are sponsored by Herbalife and Real Salt Lake by Xango just to name two off the top of my head.

  3. Daniel says:

    One point about the American jerseys that makes them different is that, in baseball and American football at least, the entire league’s jerseys are manufactured by the same company – Reebok make the NFL jerseys and Majestic make MLB’s. In this respect, the shirts are sponsored, as the companies are able to advertise that they are the exclusive producers of a league’s jerseys. The kit manufacturers have their logos on every single jersey you see in the league. By signing a contract with an exclusive kit supplier, the leagues themselves are surely selling a sort of sponsorship which all the teams must comply with.

  4. Dan says:

    The signing of a ‘league sponsorship shirt deal’ may be happening in England soon. Koolsport who sponsor the NCEL league tried to be sole manufacturers for all kits in the 40 (approx) team league. This did not happen last year due to the late announcement of the sponsorship deal and the fact some clubs had already done deals. But watch this space for next season.

  5. Linda says:

    Barca’s socios did actually vote to allow shirt sponsorship back in 2003 when the club was in dire financial straits, but I don’t think it would be tolerated now. The UNICEF deal is now in its third year and in my opinion it should be continued – why mess with a good thing?

    Another club who have historically not allowed their shirts to be sullied with a sponsor is Athletic Bilbao, one of three Spanish clubs to have never been relegated (take a wild guess who the other two are). To avoid a historic relegation, however (Athletic are a bit short of funds, and they have that all-Basque policy to worry about) they have a shirt sponsor this season for the first time – a local oil refinery.

  6. ursus arctos says:

    Interestingly enough, major league baseball has allowed its teams to wear small sponsor logos on their uniform sleeves and batting helmets in regular season games played in Japan. It is as if they believe that what happens in Tokyo stays in Tokyo.

    During the 90s, the French league signed an exclusive deal with adidas to have them supply kits for all of the clubs in their top flight, only to abandon the idea in the wake of initially successful legal challenges from non-adidas contracted clubs based on restraint of trade/freedom of contract/competition grounds. Given the amounts at stake in the Premier League, a similar challenge would be inevitable were it tried in England.

    I happen to be a Barca socio and I agree that in the current climate, the membership would not support a commercial sponsor. There is, however, something to the argument that the unicef deal (which has been a PR bonanza for the club) has in fact de-sensitised the support to the concept of leaving the front of the shirt blank (one also needs to keep in mind the Nike logo and the Antenna 3 ad on the sleeve). Were the club’s finances to go into the tank, I can see the membership looking very seriously at a particular lucrative offer from a commercial sponsor.

    One last point. Not only did Allsports go bust while they were sponsoring Charlton, so did Llanera. In fact, the recent economic record of Premier League sponsors has been rather poor: Llanera, Northern Rock, XL and now AIG. Those clubs who aren’t sponsored by “recession proof” firms like gambling companies and breweries should be looking at their sponsors with a bit more jaundiced eye than they were 12 months ago. Interestingly enough, North America experienced the same phenomenon several years ago with regard to stadium naming rights (an area where they are considerably “ahead” of England in terms of sponsorship). At one point, close to half of the firms that had paid large sums for naming rights had either gone bust or been merged out of existence. To pick just one example, the Houston Astros were stuck with a brand shiny new ballpark that had an Enron logo built into every one of its 45,000+ seat rests.

  7. stu says:

    I did laugh during the england vs croatia game that the medical cart had got advertising on the roof.

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