One of the enormous benefits of corporate sponsorship is that, if the competition is fierce for the rights to sponsor your event, you can make the sponsors jump through hoops in order to secure your attention. In the case of Euro 2008, the discussions to secure the services of an official vehicle sponsor for the tournament must have ended up with the staff of UEFA in fits of giggles as they made Hyundai supply them with coaches with ridiculous logos printed on the side of them. Gone are the days when football associations had to worry about such trifling details as booking their own coaches for the finals of major tournaments themselves. Nowadays, UEFA do this all for them, and even manage to find something for their work experience boy or girl in coming up with ridiculous, vacuous slogans to put on the side of them.
One can’t help but think that someone at UEFA has missed a trick here. The opportunity to have a slogan that is ridiculous or even gratuitously offensive is one that I wouldn’t have been able to pass up. I mean, if you’re going to have coaches with slogans on the side of them, you might as well go the whole hog and make them is ridiculous as possible, mightn’t you? One can only hope that, in time for the next World Cup, FIFA ditch their sponsorship deal with Hyundai in favour of one with Mattel, who then make bespoke space hoppers to get the teams from venue to venue. The idea of Wayne Rooney bouncing through the middle of Johannesburg on a space hopper with “One Man, One Mission – To Try Really Hard Not To Get Sent Off” printed on the side of it is, frankly, too good to pass up.