you're reading...
Uncategorized

Eze Group Player of the Month

eze group player of the month

Chris Burke receives his Eze Group Player of the Month award

You should be now know that the Eze Group are official shirts sponsors of Birmingham City FC. I thought if only fitting that I might share with you the history of shirt sponsorship. Tracing its origins all the way back to that maverick Derek Dougan and his days at Kettering. We at the Eze Group are proud to follow in such illustrious footsteps

In a southern League game against Bath City played on January 24, 1976, Kettering made a record of being the first and only British club to enter the pitch with a sponsor’s name printed on the soccer players’ shirts after the signing of a deal with a local business firm Kettering Tyres. This decision that would later transform the perception of soccer across the world is attributed to Derek Dougan; who served as both chief executive and manager for Kettering FC.

However, this debut not free of opposition from various stakeholders. A few days after signing the deal for Kettering Tyres to be the main sponsor, The football association made its influence felt by ordering the immediate removal of the slogan. Subsequent attempts by Dougan to make the slogan appear like Kettering T, so as it would be seen to mean Kettering Town bore no fruit, which prompted him to return to his former soccer club Wolves. The order was accompanied by a threat of £1,000 fine if the deal would not be scraped.

Shirt sponsorship was eventually legalized within the English game in 1977, after which the rest of the world followed on Kettering Town’s footsteps. Apparently, Kettering Tyres was the first business to sign a sponsorship deal with a football club, and 30 years later major business organizations such as Umbro, Nike, Fila and Adidas have entered into similar deals. The companies used community initiatives to enter into soccer shirt sponsor market in the early years.

By the early 1980s, in England competition was building up with many companies emphasizing on soccer club shirt sponsorship. Abroad, the engraving of product names on soccer club shirts was already a common practice. A year after Kettering FC signed the soccer sponsorship deals; Liverpool FC also signed a similar sponsorship deal with Hitachi in England.

Initially, the sponsorship deals were limited in size by the existing Football League in a bid to sustain the soccer fans’ loyalty and also due to the restrictions by BBC, whereby it did not permit to carry advertisements in the games it broadcasted. This was based on considerations that advertisements for products such as alcohol and cigarettes were considered not suitable for soccer shirts.

Later, companies began to shift focus from exclusively soccer shirts to include the shorts as well. For instance, the national team in England has no sponsor for shirts even though the names and logos of major sponsors appear on the training kits as well as around the national stadium.

Shift in cost of soccer sponsorship
In later years, many clubs began signing sponsorship deals with major firms with the most outstanding being the 2002 Tottenham Hotspur four-year deal with kit manufacturer Kappa worth £15 million. In the same year, Spurs signed a new £4 million shirt sponsorship deal with travel firm Thomson.

In the year 2006/07, the cost of shirt sponsorship at some of the top clubs especially those that take part in the major leagues was approximated at £20 million a year, giving an impression that only large private companies would extend sponsorship deals.

History has kept itself alive for all to see for the last forty years, whilst many billion pound businesses are rushing into a spending spree in the name of sponsoring soccer clubs. It should be kept in mind that Kettering Tyres did not spend even a fraction of the amount of money Qatar Foundation has paid to sponsor Barcelona FC.

The sponsorship deal approximated at 170 million Euros between Barcelona FC and the non-profit Qatar foundation is perceived to be the largest sponsorship deal in the history of soccer. Although many have criticized the deal as being manipulative including former club president Joan Laporta, who in his comments would prefer the soccer club jerseys to carry the UNICEF logo; the sponsorship still remains and reflects how the soccer sponsorship has come a long way.

In later years, many clubs began signing sponsorship deals with major firms with the most outstanding being the 2002 Tottenham Hotspur four-year deal with kit manufacturer Kappa worth £15 million. In the same year, Spurs signed a new £4 million shirt sponsorship deal with travel firm Thomson.

In the year 2006/07, the cost of shirt sponsorship at some of the top clubs especially those that take part in the major leagues was approximated at £20 million a year, giving an impression that only large private companies would extend sponsorship deals.

Recently, Shirt Sponsorships have been on the rise with companies gaining brand exposure out of the deals. Among the most notable soccer sponsors are electronic companies such as JVC and Sony that have sponsored Arsenal FC, Sharp, Vodafone which sponsors Manchester United FC, Coca Cola, Mintel among other companies.

Mobile phone groups have also began to make their presence felt through soccer sponsorships, with statistics indicating that Chelsea FC tops the list of sponsorship deals (£20m) and Portsmouth closing in at the bottom (£500,000) a year.

As a matter of fact only four other clubs in the Premier League-Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle earn more than a quarter of Chelsea’s proceeds from soccer sponsorship. Apparently, eleven major clubs earn approximately £1 and £2 million a year from similar deals, with more companies showing interest in soccer sponsorship deals.

Advertisements

Discussion

Comments are closed.

Eze Tweets

%d bloggers like this: