Football Sponsorship Column - Bafana Left Waiting; Barca Confirm Qatar Foundation; Adidas, Spain Renew

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South Africa played Wednesday's friendly against Kenya in its old Adidas kit. (Getty Images)
Still No Shirt Sponsor for Bafana
South Africa’s national team remains without a shirt sponsor.

The country’s media reported late last month that Bafana Bafana was on the verge of a deal with Puma just weeks after its 12-year arrangement with Adidas came to a bitter end.

That deal was expected to be unveiled at a press conference this week. Instead, the event was cancelled at the last minute.

“The announcement will be made, but it has been postponed,” Safa communications director Morio Sanyane was quoted by the South African Times.

Bafana had hoped to have a new sponsor in place for Wednesday’s friendly against Kenya, a match the team played in its old Adidas kits.

UNICEF Takes Backseat to Qatar Foundation on Barca Shirts
Barcelona will drop the UNICEF logo from its shirt fronts to make room for its new record-setting sponsorship.
Qatar Foundation will take over the front of the shirt, and UNICEF will move to the back. (Getty Images)

Only the Qatar Foundation will get its name emblazoned across the chests of Lionel Messi and company going forward.

“In the end, there will be only two words: ‘Qatar Foundation’ in yellow,” Barca vice president Javier Faus was quoted by Reuters.

“UNICEF will go on the back underneath the player’s name.”

The shakeup comes just weeks after Barcelona’s record €127 million deal with the education-focused non-profit organization, marking the first time the Spanish football franchise has taken money for a shirt advertisement.

The club actually paid UNICEF to be its main shirt sponsor, an arrangement now taking the backseat in the wake of news reports that the club is saddled with debts in excess of €300m.

Faus had previously said Nike was working on a logo that would incorporate both parties.

Crown Paints Won’t Renew with Rovers
This season will be Blackburn’s last in shirts sponsored by Crown Paints.
The Rovers will have a different name on their shirts come next season. (Getty Images)

The Lancashire-based manufacturer announced this week that its partnership with the Rovers will end following a takeover by Venky’s.

"Sponsoring the Blackburn Rovers’ shirts over the last three years has been a partnership we have really valued and been proud of,” Crown Paints said.

“It has therefore been a very difficult for us to decide not to renew the contract when it comes to an end in May.”

Rovers’ marketing head Simon Williams said in a statement that the club is already well into its search for a new shirt sponsor because Crown Paints had never expressed any interest in renewal throughout the past year. 

Spanish FA, Adidas Ink Extension
Adidas will sponsor Spanish football through 2018.
Spain wore adidas kits last summer in South Africa. (Getty Images)
The German sports giant has announced the extension of its partnership with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF). 

“Adidas is the global leader in football and Spain is currently the strongest team in the world which makes this partnership a perfect fit," adidas CEO Herbert Hainer said.

Adidas sponsors every level of Spanish football, including the third-ranked U-17 team, the European runner-up U-19 team and, of course, the World Cup-winning senior team. 

“This agreement allows us to count on the support of adidas, which is without doubt the leading football brand,” said RFEF president Ángel María Villar. 

“We are going to continue our partnership with them to support the world of football in every aspect.” 

Lucozade Takes Brand to Facebook
Lucozade is going digital with its sponsorship of the English Premier League.

The British brand of energy drinks will utilize Facebook, club-specific communications and digital billboards to showcase its products this season, Marketing Magazine reported.

Its Fans Fives campaign directs supporters to a website where they can apply to be part of a five-man team for each of the league’s 19 teams.

"Fans Fives is an exciting campaign that will allow us to leverage our elite football associations to engage fans in a meaningful way,” Lucozade senior brand manager Alex Saunders was quoted.

"The focus on the digital elements of the campaign reflects a shift in the way football fans interact with the clubs they support".

Lucozade is the Premier League’s official drinks supplier.

By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson

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