Virgin Media strengthen ties with Southampton FC after agreeing shirt sleeve sponsorship

Southampton FC are the latest Premier League club to take advantage of the new kit sponsorship opportunities after agreeing a deal with Virgin Media.

Already the club’s main shirt sponsor, Virgin Media will now take up the sleeve sponsorship space which the Premier League has made available to clubs from the start of the upcoming 2017/18 season.

The decision to open up more shirt sponsorship space is in keeping with other European leagues such as Spain's La Liga where white goods manufacturer Beko adorns the shirt sleeves of FC Barcelona.

“We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with Virgin Media over the past 12 months and we are delighted that they have opted to become our new shirt sleeve sponsors,” said Southampton’s commercial director, David Thomas.

Lloyd Page, director of brand for Virgin Media, added: “Our people take great pride in seeing the Virgin Media brand on the Southampton FC shirt, so we are thrilled to further demonstrate our support of this fantastic football club in this way."

The new sleeve sponsorship offers football clubs an easy additional revenue stream, something which could become more significant in the future as the lucrative sums paid by broadcasters look less certain amid declining viewing figures and competition from cheaper forms of entertainment from the likes of Netflix.

Southampton FC join Manchester City, Huddersfield, Stoke City and Swansea City as some of the first clubs to make use of the new commercial opportunities.