Vauxhall is severing its sponsorship ties with the home nations football teams after admitting that its “business priorities have changed”.
The car manufacturer announced that it would end its seven-year relationship with the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland football associations when its contract expires after the 2018 World Cup.
It’s sponsorship with the four home nations is reportedly worth £11m a year with the English Football Association’s (FA) contract valued at £6m annually, but now Vauxhall wants to redirect its marketing spend into campaigns for individual car models.
A spokeswoman for the brand said its “business priorities have changed” since it first partnered with the governing bodies in 2011. Back then Vauxhall’s line of new products was not as broad and so the strategy was focused on keeping its brand “front of mind”.
However, now the brand wants to start running separate marketing campaigns for models such as its Crossland X SUV and the Insignia Grand Sport.
In a statement, Vauxhall said: "Since 2011, Vauxhall has been very proud to be the lead sponsor for each of the four home nations football associations (FAs), the first time this has ever been undertaken by a major organisation.
The statement also mentioned that Vauxhall would “explore other opportunities to continue its relationship with the FAs beyond the conclusion of the existing contracts”.
The English Football Association (FA) confirmed that “active discussions were under way regarding a lower level partnership”.
Jonathan Ford, chief executive of the Welsh FA, commented on the news saying: "The partnership between the FAW and Vauxhall has been hugely successful for both parties. We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship.
"We now look forward to enjoying similar success with our future lead sponsor."
According to Sky Sports Vauxhall’s decision to end the sponsorship is not down to England’s poor performances at Euro 2016 or the scandal involving Sam Allardyce.
"This deal has done what it set out to do," said Sky Sports' source. "Vauxhall's image was safe, solid and reliable. This deal made Vauxhall more sexy and sprinkled some glamour onto the brand to help change perceptions."
The change is reportedly down to French car giant PSA, makers of Peugeot, lining up a £2bn takeover of the British carmaker.