Football sponsorships are a controversial topic due to their ties to gambling companies, but most football clubs worldwide have made agreements with companies for shirt sponsorships. Some of these shirt sponsorships were struck to promote well-known firms, but there have been some strange sponsorships that just don’t make sense. Read all about them here.
Wet Wet Wet and Clydebank FC (1995)
Wet Wet Wet is a rock band that was founded in 1982 in Clydebank, Scotland. The band are best known for their cover of ‘Love Is All Around’, which was used in the soundtrack for Four Weddings And A Funeral. However, the group raised eyebrows in 1995 when they became the shirt sponsors of their hometown football club. Although it isn’t strange for the group to sponsor the football club of their hometown, seeing the band name on kits was strange, and it’s rare to see a rock band or any musician sponsor a football club. In the early 2000s, the football club was bought out and moved to Airdrie, where it was renamed Airdrie United to replace the town’s previous club.
Angry Birds and Everton (2017)
Angry Birds is one of the biggest mobile games of all time. Despite that, parent company Rovio struck a sponsorship agreement with Everton in 2017 to display the Angry Birds logo on the left sleeve of the football club’s shirt. Reports claim the sponsorship was worth more than £1 million per season, but the agreement between the club and Rovio ended when talks for an extension collapsed in 2020. The club’s primary sponsor from 2020 onwards has been British online car retailer Cazoo.
Burger King and Getafe (2009)
In 2009, Spanish club Getafe struck an agreement with fast-food chain Burger King for the company’s famous branding to appear on the club’s shirts for the 2009/10 season. The front of the shirt featured the Burger King logo and the company added a picture of the King to the inside of the club’s football shirts too. The agreement is widely regarded as one of the worst and strangest football shirt sponsorships of all time for several reasons. Firstly, Burger King is large enough to not need to sponsor football clubs, the design was awful, and it wasn’t right to see professional footballers promote fast food. Getafe displayed Burger King’s branding for three years before the club struck an agreement with Confremar, a frozen foods manufacturer.
Columbia Pictures and Atletico Madrid (2003)
Back in 2003, Atletico Madrid signed a sponsorship agreement with Columbia Pictures, a film production and distribution company. Rather than displaying the logo of Columbia Pictures, the sponsorship saw Atletic Madrid change the logo of their shirts several times to promote Columbia Pictures’ new film releases. Some of the logos displayed on the team’s shirts included Spider-Man, Peter Pan, Hell Boy, Resident Evil, White Chicks, Bad Boys, and numerous others. The sponsorship was incredibly unique, but the agreement came to an end in 2005.
Football Sponsorships Now
As you can see, all of the strange football sponsorships we’ve mentioned above were agreed upon before the start of the 2020s. Today, the majority of football clubs are sponsored by casinos and their popular sister sites, particularly in the United Kingdom. This has sparked a huge backlash across the nation as many believe these sponsorships push youths and vulnerable people into gambling. A review of the Gambling Act 2005 may see the UK Government ban gambling shirt sponsorships, which means we may see fewer gambling brands and more of the strange sponsorships we mentioned above. Wouldn’t that be fun?