Modern Marketing

Should football clubs have multiple shirt sponsors?

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By The Drum Team | Editorial

July 6, 2010 | 3 min read

Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly considering having a different shirt sponsor for each competition they play in next season. But would this be more lucrative than having one sponsor for all matches as is tradition?

Spurs are said to be considering the arrangement because no one sponsor has agreed to pay their £10m asking price to feature on their kits during every match they play next season.

So instead of having one brand adorning their shirts regardless of whether they are playing in the Premier League, the Champions League or the domestic cups, chairman Daniel Levy is reportedly considering having a different sponsor for each competition.

Having your brand adorn Spurs' shirts in the Premier League and Champions League would likely prove tempting to advertisers due to the global television exposure both competitions receive.

But if Spurs are to have a different sponsor for each competition, would they find it easy to attract a brand to back them in the less glamorous League Cup?

Gary McCall, director of sports marketing agency Banana Kick, says Spurs face a "dilemma" if they cannot find a single sponsor offering what the club perceives as an appropriate value.

He told The Drum: "My view is that breaking the shirt sponsorship into segments will not give any of the sponsors the appropriate level of coverage. This really is a case of the whole being greater than the individual parts.

"It also throws up all sorts of issues from a merchandise sales perspective. What brand do the fans want to have on their replica shirts. If the club secure a more sexy sponsor will everyone want this brand to be the one they have on their shirt.

"Clubs already have a number of sponsors and they need to ensure that each receives the appropriate level of coverage.I am not sure how they will be able to achieve this balance with three or more shirt sponsors."

Should Spurs not find a sponsor (or sponsors) before the new season starts in August, their largely brand-free kits will be a throwback to football's bygone days before its marketing and TV revenue boom.

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