Football is always a busy industry, whether it’s a new sponsorship, an activation on social media, player signing or an unfair VAR decision (stop moaning Liverpool, it’s happened to every club), Manchester United getting a penalty and the list goes on. With the International Break over, and the unfair decision to charge football fans £14.95 for games not chosen to be televised on BT Sport or Sky Sports (or Amazon Prime), the business of football and the marketing of football doesn’t stop. This week European football returns, which means them famous nights of European magic are behind closed doors, but are another opportunity for sponsors to get their name, and logo centre stage.
So what has happened in the world of football marketing in the last couple of weeks?
Starting with women’s football, and because it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. West Ham United Women have released a new pink shirt in support of Breast Cancer Now, with 100% of profits going to the charity. The shirt will be worn during all of their fixtures in October.
Chelsea FC have just launched their Spanish-langauge website to encourage engagement and interaction with their passionate spanish speaking fans across the world. The club is also pleased to announce Go Markets as their Official Online Trading Partner. Go Markets are known for their focus on premium customer service, low costs and quality execution, which has been rewarded in a number of global award bodies. In other Chelsea FC news, although aimed at US fans, Chelsea have launched Chelsea Mike’d Up – their official podcast.
Last week, Sheffield United announced yet another significant partnership. The Blades have announced a three year partnership with Saudi Arabian based Yelo, who became the clubs’ official Car Rental Partner. The sponsorship will be activated through the first team and management training wear, travel and bench wear kit, in which the brand logo will be visible. This sponsorship comes at the time that Yelo has recently changed its name to coincide with the Kingdom 2030 Vision, aiming to encourage tourism to Saubi Arabia. Sheffield United are also the latest club to partner with Mondelez International (Cadbury), as they sign an initial three year deal, becoming the Blades Official Snacking Partner.
We all know that gambling addiction is a potentially dangerous addiction, and this week Southampton FC are supporting RecoverMe. RecoverMe is a new mobile application that empowers individuals to get gambling addiction support.
Tottenham Hotspur have recently announced Hyperice as the clubs’ Official Recovery Technology Supplier. The partnership will enable players with real time, sideline access to Hyperice recovery technology during all first team games for the men’s and the women’s tean. In the announcement, Hyperice have claimed they have found a partner that believes in their mission and matches their passion in pursuing it.
New to the Liverpool FC partners is Expedia. The multi year agreement means that Expedia becomes a principal partner, with the logo on the shirt sleeve on both the men’s and the women’s team kit. They also plan to create emotionally-driven campaigns, with access ti players, matchday visibility and branded content. The aim is to focus on empowering fans to discover, book and enjoy the journey.
The season may have begun, and 5 weeks in, but new sponsorship deals are always occurring. Wolves have announced their new partnership with Tezo, who became the clubs official, and first ever, Global Headphone Partner. To celebrate the partnership, Tezo have created a range of co branded Wolves Bluetooth headphones, which fans can purchase online and in store. The Chinese based business are helping Wolves to further their global footprint.
In the Championship, Birmingham City FC have also been busy announcing new sponsorships. Last week, Birmingham FC announced Pre London as their Official Fashion Partner. Pre London is a Birmingham based fashion brand, and through the partnership, supporters are able to get 20% of Pre London. Norwich City have announced their first ever sustainability partner, Kotamills, who are a Finnish manufacturer of fully recyclable food service. The multi year deadl will allow Norwich City to reduce the amount of plastic disposed as a byproduct of food and drink at Carrow Road.
In other news, the announcement that the Premier League, along with Sky Sports & BT Sport, would charge fans £14.95 to watch the matches that were not chosen for broadcast, didn’t exactly go down well. Newcastle United fans donated nearly £20,000 for food bank as a protest to having to pay £14.95 to watch their side lose to Manchester United on Saturday evening. Interestingly, broadcasting companies have refused to announce the figures for the number of people that did purchase the Box Office addition.
Although the transfer window has now come to an end, ROMA’s ‘Missing Children’ Twitter initiative demonstrates how social media can be used for social good. It’s clear that football clubs have a duty to use their power on social media for good, and for the last couple of years Roma has been doing just that with their player announcement videos. Every time the club announces a new player, they also post a video of pictures of missing children to raise awareness in the search for them.
A series that goes slightly under the radar, unless you are a Manchester United fan, is UTD Unscripted. UTD Unscripted is a series that looks at the careers and life journeys of ex-players who took a different route. You can watch the series here.
PREVIOUSLY IN FOOTBALL MARKETING
FOOTBALL MARKETING #1 – Football MTV Cribs, New Shirt Sponsors and Beckham Teams up with Tottenham Hotspur
FOOTBALL MARKETING #2 – Shirts for Heroes, Wolves Fan Mosaic & Chelsea ‘Breaking Barriers’
FOOTBALL MARKETING #3 – CityTV Restart, Virtual Matchday’s & Heads Up FA Cup
FOOTBALL MARKETING #4 – 2020/21 Kits Launched, New Shirt Sponsors, and Arsenal Women get Creative on Social Media.
FOOTBALL MARKETING #5 – Dare Walk, New Signings Announcements and National Shirts.
FOOTBALL MARKETING #6 – Cadbury’s Football, New Sponsors & Twitter Player Announcements