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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Shirt Sponsorship

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The changing nature of sponsorship

Writing his diary column in The Times on Saturday, Daniel Finkelstein seemed rather baffled by the arrival of shirt sleeve sponsorship at Chelsea, although we have discussed it here.  It is simply the latest way of extracting money from commercial sponsors.  

Whether they get value is for them to decide, although it is all tax deductible.  I doubt whether I get any value from my advert for this site in the Leamington programme, but it is another way of supporting a cash strapped club.

Labour would ban betting firms from football shirts

The Labour Party would ban gambling firms from sponsoring football shirts if it came to power, according to the party's deputy leader Tom Watson.  Betting on football was worth £1.4bn to bookmakers in the last year for which figures are available.

Clubs in shirt sleeves arms race

Football clubs are in an arms race to get sponsorship logos on players shirt sleeves after the Football League sanctioned opening up the sleeve at the end of last year.  The logo has to be placed on the left sleeve.

FA pulls out of Ladbrokes deal

The Football Association has pulled out of a sponsorship deal with Ladbrokes Coral worth up to £4m a year, after concern about the gambling industry's influence over the national game.  It is understood that the FA has paid Ladbrokes for the value of one year of the contract and no further penalty for ending it early.

Ladbrokes has similar deals with the Scottish FA and the Football Association of Ireland.

One off sponsorship deal upsets Sutton fans

A one off sponsorship deal between FA Cup giant killers Sutton United and Sun Bet for their match against Arsenal has upset some Sutton United fans.  The name of their regular sponsor, Greengo Waste, could still be seen in small lettering on the back of the shirts, but the front had a prominent sticker for Sun Bet.

Big shirt sponsorship deal for Barca

FC Barcelona have signed a short sponsorship deal worth at least €220m with Japanese retailer Rakuten. The four season deal is worth €55m a year, a similar amount to the £47m a year that Manchester United earns in its contract with Chevrolet.

Barcelona has also signed deals to capture the Turkish electronics giant Beko on its shirtsleeves and US semiconductor company Intel unusually on the inside of its shirts.   It's a long way from just having Unicef on its shirts.

Debunking football finance myths

The Guardian has published an interesting blog that seeks to debunk a number of football finance myths in the context of the transfer window.  The article contrasts the lack of transparency in terms of transfer fees in English football with the NBA and the NFL but, as is pointed out, they operate salary caps so full financial disclosure is essential.

Premier League shirt deals rise to record high

The combined value of Premier League shirt sponsorship deals this year is £226.5m, an increase of £3.6m on last year.  In percentage terms this is less than two per cent, so it is a much smaller rise than that for broadcasting contracts.

Should clubs accept sponsorship from betting companies?

It's far from unusual for football clubs to accept sponsorship from betting companies.  Four Premier League clubs do.  However, the news that Betdaq are to replace the University of Greenwich on Charlton's shirts has sparked some controversy.

Shirt sponsors deny cannabis link

Torquay United's new shirt sponsors have emphatically denied that their company name has any link with cannabis.   420 Skatestore is a skatestore clothing company.   In the United States 420 is a slang term associated with cannabis.  Gulls supporters have jokingly speculated on social media whether the team will appear with a cannabis leaf on their shirts.