Sponsorship gone mad

money-ballAfter 17 years of sponsoring Liverpool FC, Carlsberg’s £8m a year has been traded for £20m a year from Standard Chartered Bank for next season.

It’s not only the club’s largest football sponsorship deal in its history that raises eyebrows. It has fallen right in the middle of a significant and enduring recession that has left 2.4m out of work in the UK.

Sponsorship, particularly as a marketing tool used in football, often surprises me. Vast sums are spent to associate with a better known brand with return on this investment difficult to quantify.

The list of current Premier League football sponsors throws up some interesting trends, not least that 7 out of the 20 are sponsored by online gambling and gaming brands, another 3 by finance related companies:

Arsenal – Emirates
Aston Villa – Acorn
Blackburn – Crown Paints
Birmingham City – F&C Investments
Bolton – 118 Bet
Burnley – Samuel Cooke & Co
Chelsea – Samsung
Everton – Chang
Fulham – LG
Hull – Totesport
Liverpool – Carlsberg – Standard next season
Man City- Ethiad Airways
Man Utd – AIG – Aon next season
Portsmouth – Jobsite
Stoke City – Britannia
Sunderland – Boyle Sports
Tottenham – Mansion.com
West Ham – SBO Bet
Wigan – 118 Bet
Wolves – Sportingbet.com

Sponsorship is used to raise profile based on ‘opportunities to see’ but who can really afford that in the current climate? For most businesses, sponsorship is only an indulgent tool for the already successful and should for the most part be ignored.


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