Monday, January 28, 2013

Man City VS York City: Buying Kits and Swapping Strips

Many clubs release more than one strip per season, so football fans who want to support their team will have a choice when looking to buy their kit. However this season Man City’s kit – available to purchase from – includes three team shirts and two souvenir jerseys, more than any other club. They’ve come under fire from supporters who would have to shell out over £200 to afford all five pieces, with even the secretary of the team’s supporters club referring to third strips as ‘unnecessary’.

This is a stark contrast to second league club York City, who have announced that their fans will be able to get a hold of new club shirts simply by returning their old ones. It’s a gesture which will go a long way with York City supporters, whose kit has become outdated following a rebranding of the football club by sponsors Benenden Healthcare.

Mid-Season Strip Swap Unheard Of

The gesture has touched York City fans but probably wouldn’t have been possible for a larger club whose sponsorship deals, contracts and regulations would have made such a move financially impossible.

All of York City’s returned shirts will be donated to charities, with half of the profits to go towards projects helping deprived children in the UK and the other half go towards working with children in Africa.

A mid-season swap of this nature is practically unheard of in football, however, so the club’s offer – which includes free reprinting of names and numbers, and no additional postage charges – means fans will surely jump at the chance to acquire a new shirt whilst contributing to a worthwhile cause. The initiative has the full backing of York City’s patron the Archbishop of York, who was the first person to swap his shirt.

Donate Your Kit to Kits4Causes

There’s a long tradition of clubs using kits to help out charities and York City has taken the matter of charity fundraising into its own hands, however for supporters of other clubs who wish to donate their kits there is a charity which has been set up for this exact purpose.

Kits4Causes collects donated kits – including everything from shirts and shorts to training gear and balls – which it uses to support charities which work with disadvantaged youngsters around the world.

Monday, April 30, 2012

5 Large (UK) Football Club Sponsorship Deals Spanning a Decade

Who's Behind These Football Club Sponsorship Deals?

English Football Banter, as always, is pivotal in keeping you abreast of the latest football news, topics and debates. In this edition we take a step back and dive into the mud and grit to give recognition to some impressive UK sponsorship deals spanning a decade. For EFB, it's a time to reflect and give credit to sponsorship deals that have acted as supporting pillars in aiding FC clubs and the sport to thrive in recent years; deals that helped shape English football into what it is today.

As a plethora of sponsorships get penned in this game on a perpetual basis, it's often too easy to become ignorant of the businesses that aid and fund the sport.. Just what exactly are some of the entites sponsoring club football teams? Where are they located? What do they do and what role do they play? Listed below (in alphabetical order) are sample case studies giving recognition to some key businesses and driving forces behind club sponsorship deals within the English football arena.

Summary of (UK) FC Club Sponsorships: 

Navigate (UK) FC sponsorship deals that interest you within the article using the anchor tag links provided here:

  • Alpari (UK) & West Ham United FC - [Undisclosed]
  • Emirates Airline & Arsenal - £90m approx over 15 years
  • Etihad Airways & Manchester City - £400m approx over 10 years
  • Nike & Manchester United - £303m approx (Net) over 13 years
  • Samsung Electronics & Chelsea - £90m approx over 10 years

  • #1 Alpari (UK) Limited & West Ham United (WHUFC)

    Alpari (UK) Limited (Forex Brokers) and WestHam United FC (WHUFC) Brand Logos

    Official Sponsorship Details:

    There's much speculation involved regarding Alpari (UK) Limited's involvement with WHUFC. Monetary details remain undisclosed to the public, but it has been rather modestly 'understated' as a major Partnership agreement. The 3 year deal was signed in July 2011 and lasts up until 2013. A timely sponsorship that seems a necessity under the current climate of WHUFC's stadium bid to host the Olympic games and a cash boost to its status due to the revenue loss suffered shortly after relegation..Suffice to say, the grounds 'West Stand' has since become the 'Alpari Stand'. Alpari's brand appears in match day programmes and the company has been given rights to promote 'money can't buy' events at the stadium as a part of its branding campaign. The Communications Director for WHUFC (Barry Webber) had this to say:

    “We are delighted to sign this partnership agreement with Alpari (UK). It will have a significant and positive impact on the club, and the deal demonstrates that West Ham United remains an attractive proposition to prospective partners, especially in the key world of business and finance.”

  • Cited src:
  • Cited src:
  • Read more news from Google results: Alpari (UK) and West Ham "sponsorship"

  • Company Description:

    Alpari (UK) Limited are a global foreign exchange ("Forex ", "FX") broker founded back in 1998, currently operating in London's financial distict of Bishopsgate directly in the buzz that is the City of London. Classed as a seperate entity to the other worldwide Alpari companies (present in over 50 countries and employing over 630 people). The London based company offers financial services and utilities such as Forex brokerage, financial spreads and CFD trading platforms to independent financial traders and investors.

    Misc Information: Alpari (UK) Limited also have a 5 year sponsorship in the World Match Racing Tour ~

    (UK) Headquarters: Alpari (UK) Ltd, 201 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3AB, UK

    #2 Emirates Airline & Arsenal

    Fly Emirates and Arsenal Logos

    Official Sponsorship Details:

    This partnership between Emirates Airline and the gunners landed way back in 2006. At the time it was the largest of its kind with a record breaking whopping 15 year deal. The deal is set to expire in 2021 and Emirates has been quoted as saying that is hopes to renew the partnership agreement with Arsenal Football Club upon expiry. Publicised figures document that the sponsorship is valued at $160m / £90m GBP over the course of the 15 year agreement. The airline acquired naming rights to the 60,000 seat home grounds in North London and also gained considerable brand awareness outside of the grounds. The 'Emirates' naming rights were estimated at a value of £2.8m for every year in the10 year consectuive period of extension (£28m in entirety). £48m of the deal is estimated to have been distributed towards shirt sponsorship. Emirates truly brandished its airlines identity here as a powerful driving force to a humongous audience. Research suggests that Arsenal's worldwide fan base comprises of over 27 million supporters.

    Read more news from Google results: Emirates Airline & Arsenal "sponsorship"

    Company Description:

    Emirates is considered to be the largest airline in the middle east with 22 years of consecutive profits. Emirates has won awards for its services including "Airline of the Year" in 2011.. Based at Dubai International Airport and having administrative offices all over the world; the company operates at an average rate of 2,500 flights every single week to over 120 citiies in 70 different countries in pretty much every continent besides...well...Antarctica?

    Misc Information:

    Emirates have a consistent and impressive portfolio of football sponsorships comprising of FIFA 2007-2014, AC Milan, Asian Football Confederation, as well as the US Open Series in Tennis and more.

    (UK) Ticket Office:
    First Floor, Gloucester Park, 95 Cromwell Road, London SW7 4DL, UK

    #3 Etihad Airways & Manchester City

    Etihad and Manchester City Logos

    Official Sponsorship Details:

    Stirring up the football scene in July 2011 was Manchester City's ground shattering record 10 year deal for £400m with airline Etihad Airways. This event was crowned the largest single sponsorship deal signed off in sport full stop! Hence the heat it gained along the way...Tim Payton the Trust spokesman is recorded to have stated: "The deal at Manchester City stretches credulity to the limit." There is no doubt that this deal attracted immense waves of speculation, in both positive and negative spheres - to the point that UEFA were pressured to question the fairness of this 10 year sponsorship deal even after Manchester City consulted with the federation to ensure that the deal stuck to all the regulations that governed sponsorships. To say that this deal simply dwarfed the previous record set by JP Morgan Chase' is an understatement.A vast area surrounding the stadium is renamed 'the Ethiad Campus' that engulfs the training grounds, sports science centre and City Square fans' village. New and major developments are still under negotiation whilst planning applications are under scrutiny.

    Company Description:

    National airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways began commercial aviation services on route to Beirut in early November 2003. Renowned for putting in a bid for the largest aircraft purchase in the history of aviation totalling a mahoosive $8 million contract for 24 x air buses,4 x A380-800s and 4 x Boeing 777-300ER's. The company has grown immensely and now services cargo and passenger flights to over 82 destinations from its HQ operation in Abu Dhabi.

    Misc Information:

    The airline has forged partnerships with Ireland’s Gaelic Athletic Association in February last year and has sponsorship deals with GAA Photos and in Formula 1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This coporation seems keen to identify strong allegions in the sporting world and encourages associations to file applications via the online sponsorship form:

    London (UK) Administrative Office: 200 Hammersmith Road, W6 7DL, London, United Kingdom, UK
    Website: http:/

    #4 Nike & Manchester United

    Nike and Manchester United Logos

    Official Sponsorship Details:

    The Nike & Manchester United union was another hefty record breaking sponsorship back in 2002 with Man U netting a colossal £303m from the sportswear manufacturers, Man United were keeping up with the Jones' very well spreading the duration of this advertising deal over a 13 year period. Nike became the official kit suppliers and as the team's offical sponsor retain global rights to Manchester United's merchandise and retail operations. United was expected to receive 50% of Nike's net profits generated from the licensing of the club's merchandise - under the condition that they remained key players in the top half of the Premiership.Already a global brand it seems Nike can't get enough giving an estimated £23.3m a year. Nike's deal whacked Vodafone out of the equation entirely with a whopping 310% increase in sponsorship a year over the previous £30m 4 year contract that expired in August 2002.

    Company Description:

    Let's face it - we all know about this sports wear legend and powerhouse. In fact it's hard to avoid their branding. Here's a little factoid about the company: It might surprise you to know however that Nike was previously known as BRS (Blue Ribbon Sports) and was originally founded by Philip Knight and Bill Bowerman 48 years ago. Bill coached Philip in athletics on the track at the University of oregon. Nike began trading and distributing on behalf of Onitsuka Tiger (a Japanese shoe maker).

    Misc Information:

    The list of Nike sponsorships are so vast that it's only feasible to list a few examples in this post - for more information refer to: Recent UK sponsorship deals include the new sponsorship agreement with Everton (A well negotiated kit sponsorship in close union with 'Kitbag' worth £10m over 3 years).

    London Address: Nike Id Studio 14-16 Neal Street, Covent Garden London, WC2H 9LY, UK

    #5 Samsung Electronics & Chelsea

    Samsung and Chelsea Logos

    Official Sponsorship Details:

    The year is 2008 and Samsung Electronics extends and renews their multi million pound agreement (first signed in 2005) with London's very own Chelsea (owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich). Again this sponsorship deal was valued at $160m over a 10 year partnership up until 2018. The renewed agreement has had significant impact on the Samsung Electronics brand as Mr SH Shin (President & CEO of Smasung Electronics Europe) stated: "it (the partnership) has raised our premium brand awareness, which has in turn helped significantly increase our sales and market share..." and to quote his attitude towards key business areas in the UK "...our turnover has more than doubled in the last five years".
    There is no doubt that this sponsorship deal has been and continues to be a vested mutual affair all round. Chelsea FC lapped up a 400% increase in its global fan base since the sponsorship began in 2005 through its past successes on the pitch. This investment has enabled significant growth throughout the whole squad.

    Company Description:

    Samsung Electronics Europe; a subsidary flagship to the Samsung Group, are maufacturers and industry leaders in hi-tech electronics markets throughout Europe and the world. Dedicated in inventing and creating ground breaking products amidst the digital revolution the company has been in operation for over 70 years. Samsung are true pioneers of the digital age. Recent successes include the launch of OMNIA 7 (the first Windows 7 phone) and 'Winners of 5 European EISA Awards'.

    Misc Information:

    Samsung is a bonfide sponsor of the Olympic Games through to 2016, other sports related sponsorships include title sponsorship for 'Honda UK's British Superbike team' for the 2012 season, and a 3 year deal with sports personality Maria Sharapova (the worlds top paid female athlete) which began (1st April 2012) this month.

    (UK) Headquarters
    : Samsung House, 1000 Hillswood Drive, Chertsey, Surrey KT16 0PS, UK

    Where to Find Sponsorship Deals:

    Need to source sponsorship deals or build relations with companies? Need to find suitable partners to sponsor? Have a look at this online database of UK sponsorship opportunities: - a place where sponsors and sports associations negotiate and interact.

    Clubs and sporting associations can get the visibility they need to receive sponsorship enquiries by getting listed on the aforementioned website. Companies and Coporations interested in increasing brand awareness via a wide spread audience can get feeds of the latest applicants directly via RSS for the latest in UK sports sponsorship opportunities.
    Alternatively you can strtategically query search engines for such sponsorships using specific terms like: sponsor | sponsorship "proposal request form" [+ your chosen sporting field] (click link to view search result).

    History of Football Sponsorship Deals in the UK

    A vast topic to be covered in another post - perhaps a timeline infographic would be more suitable in this instance?

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    Former Gunner Adebayor Fit To Return To Haunt Arsenal

    Former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor is set to face a late fitness test with the Spurs medical staff this weekend - but should still be able to shake off the ill effects of a recent knee injury in a bid to return to the Tottenham lineup to face bitter North London rivals Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday. The Togo striker has been in excellent form for Harry Redknapp's side this season following his loan move from Manchester City - notching up 10 goals and as many assists in 22 Premier League appearances this season as Tottenham have mounted a surprise title challenge. Former Arsenal hero Adebayor turned villain for Gunners fans following his big money move to Manchester City - and relations with their former hitman hit fever pitch when the striker ran the full length of the pitch to celebrate in front of them following his goal at Eastlands back in September 2009.
         While Redknapp will hope Adebayor can again return to haunt Arsene Wenger's side, and fulfill every Tottenham fan's dreams by helping them to win and gain local bragging rights in the North London Derby, the wider footballing and financial implications of the game are much bigger for both clubs as they battle to secure Champions League qualification next season. Tottenham - currently 3rd in the Premier League - sit some 10 points ahead of their rivals who remain 4th in the standings, while Arsenal look to hold off the challenge of the recently faltering Chelsea to ensure they qualify for club football's biggest event.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Could Milan Mauling be the Final Nail in Wenger's Coffin?

    Arsenal face a near impossible task in their bid to advance in the 2012 UEFA Champions League following their humiliation at the hands of Italian giants AC Milan last night. Outclassed in every department against experienced European opposition, an agitated Arsene Wenger condemned and lamented his side's performance - conceding that Arsenal failed to acquit themselves during any stage of the tie and were adequately punished by their superior opposition.
         Wenger has already faced away day humiliation earlier this season having seen his side torn apart 8-2 at Old Trafford in August, but this defeat in many ways emphasised his team's shortcomings to an even greater extent than that memorable afternoon in Manchester - in spite of a marginally less outlandish looking scoreline.
         Arsenal's defensive frailties - so often an Achilles heel of the team as a whole under Wenger - were highlighted throughout the fixture and continuously exploited by Milan, while even in attack The Gunners were unusually ineffective against what proved to be stereotypically well drilled and highly organized Italian opposition. Even Robin Van Persie - so often a prolific goal scorer, the “Go To” player and to some extent, a beacon of hope for Arsenal in a fast fading this season - proved woefully ineffective, and was replaced by an aging Thierry Henry at the half way point. The substitution was not to have any bearing on the result however, and left the French forward (with what will surely now be his last appearance for the club at which he excelled on countless occasions) with a final Arsenal sendoff he would surely rather forget.
         The English sporting press this morning were unsparingly scathing of the Arsenal manager – with The Daily Telegraph dubbing last night's performance a "watershed filled with tears" for Arsene Wenger - for so long now regarded as a continually successful, pioneering and forward thinking figure in the English game. However, unless Arsenal can rally quickly for their now all important FA cup tie against a resurgent Sunderland side this weekend, Wenger- for so long a staunch defender of his football philosophy of developing youth and promoting attacking flair (sometimes critics would argue at the expense of winning trophies) - must surely now face up to the almost inconceivable prospect of leaving his post at the end of the current campaign as Arsenal look to reassess and rebuild.

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    "Never Say Die" Rooney Inspires Man United Fightback

    England striker Wayne Rooney scored 2 penalties and produced an inspiring second half display as Manchester United fought back from a seemingly hopeless position at Stanford Bridge. Trailing by a single goal at half time, even the most die hard of United supporters must have thought all was lost when a disastrous start to the second half saw early goals from Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata (who buried a stunning volley) and a deflected set piece header from centre back David Luiz treble the home side's advantage in a sequence of events that all Chelsea fan's must surely have believed would put the game to bed as a contest.
         However, Rooney was to once again prove the driving force for the reds with a determined performance of both grit and technique in equal quantity - picking up the man of the match award and proving that there would be no greater football boots for manager Sir Alex Ferguson to try and fill should the Liverpool born forward pick up an injury during United's end of season title run in.
         Following the final whistle Chelsea fans vented there frustration at seeing yet another opportunity to make up ground on the Premier League front runners pass them by, whilst in contrast a beaming Rooney suggested in his post match interview that the response from his team was typical of his club's attitude and approach -  even when all seems lost. The game was to prove a fantastic advert for English football, and a great indication of Manchester United's team spirit and unerring desire to succeed in their pursuit of yet another Premier League title.

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    Gerrard Issues Rallying Call to Faltering Reds

    Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has called on his team to raise their game as his club pursue victory in their League Cup campaign and continue to cling on to their fast fading hopes of Champions League qualification. Gerrard's side have struggled in recent games in spite of heavy investment in the squad by manager Kenny Dalglish at the start of the current campaign - and even a recent return to fitness and form of the talismanic Gerrard has not been enough to stop the club sliding to 7th in the Premier League table.  

    Liverpool face title favorites and league leaders Manchester City in tonight's League Cup semi final clash - a team they already trail by 19 points in the league - and Gerrard has demanded an improved performance from the whole squad if they are to overcome Mancini's Blues at Anfield this evening. The 3 - 1 defeat at Premier League strugglers Bolton in their last game saw the reds slump to what Dalglish referred to as poorest performance since his return to the helm of the club to which he has contributed so much during a magnificent career, but Gerrard has commanded his club pick themselves up and move on from such a bad result to reach a Wembley Cup Final.

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    Gary Cahill Completes Chelsea Switch for £7 Million

    West London giants Chelsea have finally completed the signing of England centre back Gary Cahill from fellow Premier League side Bolton Wanderers after a protracted transfer negotiation with the player over personal terms. Having completed a medical examination at the weekend, Cahill now joins Chelsea's star studded squad as they look to get their title challenge back on track - and at just 26 may be viewed by the club as a long term replacement for fellow England defender John Terry at Stamford Bridge.

         The transfer fee paid for Cahill is thought to be in the region of £7 million, thereby presenting arguably good value for both Bolton and Chelsea - particularly with the player's contract rapidly expiring at the Reebok stadium and the Lancashire club therefore fearful of losing him for nothing in the summer.
         For Bolton boss Owen Coyle however, losing such a key player in their battle for Premier League survival must surely be a bitter blow, although it is thought that Cahill's transfer fee will be made available to him in order to recruit replacements for his struggling squad during the current January transfer window.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    FA Stand Firm Over Kompany Red Card

    Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has failed in his attempts to have the 4 match suspension he received following his red card against local rivals Manchester United rescinded. Kompany was given a straight red in the early stages of his team's FA cup 3rd round clash with United for a 2 footed sliding tackle - although replays seemed to show he did win the ball cleanly in the challenge. Following the game's conclusion the challenge divided opinions between players and pundits alike regarding the legitimacy of the decision. However, the FA have backed referee Chris Foy's original decision and as such Kompany must now serve a 4 match suspension with immediate effect.

         This issue is likely to leave City boss Roberto Mancini with a defensive headache for his side's forthcoming clash with Liverpool - with fellow centre back Kolo Toure currently away on international duty with the Ivory Coast and his squad also hit by several injuries. This has led for Mancini to call for further investment in the team - a statement that has drawn strong criticism in many quarters given the vast amount of money he has already spent on players under his tenure at City.

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    Suarez Hand Gesture to be Investigated by FA

    The on field conduct of controversial Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is once again set to be scrutinised by the FA following an incident involving the player during Monday night's Premier League match against Fulham. The Uruguayan striker appeared to "flip the bird" at the home fans following his side's lackluster 1 - 0 defeat at Craven Cottage - a match in which 10 man Liverpool failed to extend their excellent away run in the league.

    Suarez is already in hot water with the FA having been charged for allegedly making racist remarks towards Manchester United's Patrice Evra (a charge the player and his club denies) but the FA have confirmed they are now looking into last nights incedent in more detail but are waiting to receive the referees match report before taking stronger actions.

    Thursday, November 24, 2011

    Saturday Soccer - There's Nothing Quite Like It

    You have to love Saturday mornings. Having a lie in, cooking a fry up, sticking on the telly and getting amongst all the hype and build up of the next round of games in the Premiership and Football League - then off on the train, to the pub for a few with your mates and then scuttling to the ground to watch your beloved local team get a good stuffing by some super rich oil baron owned team that puts your first 11 to shame. For me and thousands of others across the world, this is football - and there's nothing quite like it.
         In my opinion, the build up and banter with your mates you enjoy every weekend is as much a part of the big day as the match itself - winding them up, having a joke and voicing your know-it-all opinions on who's going to come home with the points up and down the country. If you enjoy football banter as much as I do you'll probably also enjoy a little flutter now and again - and with sites like Luxbet soccer betting has never been so easy - whether you team play in The EPL, The Bundesliga, Seria A or the Australian A-League. 
         There's no better feeling than proving your mates wrong and winning yourself a few beer tokens to spend on Saturday night after the game - and lets face it EVERYONE wants the bragging rights to be their own. Football is a social game and enjoying the banter that goes with it is what makes it so special.