At the very basic level, professional football is an entertainment business. While there is a lot of emotion attached to the sport, money is one of the biggest aspects of it. And for most football clubs, their revenue is majorly generated through sponsorship deals.
Of course, sponsors don’t just provide funds to the club, but also cover essential products, such as jerseys, which are usually covered by a sports brand like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, etc. For the companies, it is about attracting the fans by saying, “Look, we are also a part of your club. Buy our products/services to support them.
However, some sponsor deals are extremely strange, ranging from irrelevance to being outright funny and strange. Here are some of the weirdest sponsor deals in football history.
Tottenham Hotspurs – Dulux
The first thing you would likely notice is that Dulux is a paint manufacturer and supplier, nowhere near related to anything football. Usually, the companies that sponsor clubs either have a product or service that people consume daily. Paint is not such.
The deal went ahead, and Dulux became the official paint supplier of Tottenham Hotspurs FC.
However, soon after, the official Twitter of Dulux started responding to the comments on the tweet in a not so courteous way towards its new club.
Dulux later apologised to the club and its fans.
Manchester United – Pillow Partner MLILY and Tractor Partner Yanmar.
Post SAF, Man United didn’t do well on the pitch. However, they still remained one of the three biggest clubs in Europe, only behind Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. How? By making loads of money through various deals. Ed Woodward might not have had a good sense on the football side, but on the financial front, there wasn’t a man better than him in the world of football. He signed an incredible number of sponsors, such as Kohler, TeamViewer, Etc. But, he had to give all these deals an official partnership status. And so, Man United now have an official tyre partner, bathroom partner, even a pillow partner and a tractor partner.
A football club that has an official pillow partner is still somewhat understandable. But what do tractors have to do with football??
Everton – Angry Birds
Ok. I guess we all knew this was coming. Given the fact that smartphone apps and their companies were growing large and fast, they were someday going to sponsors of a club. What wasn’t expected however was that the first big name to sponsor a club with being the mobile gaming giant – Angry Birds. Rovio Entertainment signed a deal with the Toffies, and now the popular smartphone game is the official E-Game of Everton FC.
Getafe – Burger King
Food chains sponsoring football clubs is nothing. However, it was the manner this sponsor was represented on the jersey of Getafe that was extremely hilarious. Burger King has the face of their mascot printed on the inside of the jersey so that when the players lift it on their face to celebrate, the Burger King is visible. An extremely hilarious yet controversial sponsor given the fact that that celebration often leads to a yellow card for the players.
Washington Square FC – RedTube
Washington Square FC is an amateur club based in Brookline, Massachusetts, USA. As such, they were probably severely underfunded. In a desperate and hilarious attempt to gain a sponsor and attract the attention of the entire world, the club reached out to RedTube, a pornography giant in the USA, for sponsorship, which they quickly agreed to. And thus, RedTube became the official sponsor of Washington Square FC.