Football is closely and strongly associated with the automotive industry. Concern owners have colossal means, football is the most popular sport. Therefore, the combination of these phenomena is always beneficial for both parties. Multimillion-dollar advertising contracts, car brand logos, painted club buses, exclusive supercars for football stars and more.
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For the sake of a lucrative contract, the management of a football club is ready to make serious compromises. For example, to oblige players to come to the training base exclusively in the cars of the title sponsor. Some clubs are willing to grant a partner the title of their home stadium. There are also known unprecedented cases when the logo of a football club was changed for the sake of profit.
The pioneer in this matter was Real Madrid. After signing an agreement with NBAD, the “creamy” removed part of the emblem (the Christian cross that crowns the crown) for kits sold in the Middle East. Against the background of these events, the French Paris-Saint-Germain looks very steadfast. Indeed, over the 50 years of the club’s existence, the PSG logo has changed as many as 8 times, but the emblem has never been changed on sponsorship terms. And the Parc des Princes stadium has never changed its name. And this with colossal investments in the club of Arab money.
However, let’s not get distracted from the topic of cars. Let’s remember the most famous and significant agreements between football clubs and car brands.
The Italian grand has a long-term partnership with the Opel brand. The emblem of the German car manufacturer was on Milan’s jerseys from 1994 to 2006. In some seasons, even the names of models (“Meriva”, “Zafira”) appeared on the red-black uniform along with the traditional zipper.
Bianconeri have collaborated with Fiat (2007-08), New Holland Fiat Group and Iveco (2008-10). However, the Turintsy managed to reach a truly fruitful agreement with Jeep. The logo of the automobile brand has been present on the club’s jerseys from 2012 to the present day. In addition, Juve updated the emblem in 2017. At the presentation, Andrea Agnelli announced that the new logo is a modern design solution and reflects the life path of the Turin club. However, the look of the emblem evokes thoughts about the similarity of the letter “J” with the capital letter of the title sponsor. Also, the updated logo is very similar to the roadbed.
In 2012, the Hyundai brand began sponsoring League 1. The South Korean manufacturer’s logo began to appear on the jerseys of some of the league’s clubs, including Lyon’s uniforms. It is with this club that Hyundai has become a full-fledged title sponsor for 9 long years (from 2012 to 2021). Interestingly, the Lyon representatives decided to reduce their sponsorship income. Hyundai offered only $ 5 million for the season, which is 2 million less than the previous partner paid.
The more modest a club is, the more loyal its leaders are when signing sponsorship contracts. So, the Italian “Udinese” has been cooperating with “Dacia” since 2009. The car brand is not only the title sponsor of the team, but also has the rights to the name of the stadium.
At one time, “Manchester United” became the owner of a record for the amount of sponsorship money paid to the club (from 2010 to 2014, the company “AIG” replenished the budget of “United” by 80 million pounds). However, the next contract turned out to be even more profitable. “Red Devils” agreed with “Chevrolet”, which promised to pay the club the same amount, but for each season. As a result of the deal, Chevrolet became the title sponsor, and the brand’s emblem adorned the Manchester United uniform from 2014 to 2021.
The humble Bundesliga club has sponsored Opel since 2016. Despite the fact that the German company is not the title sponsor of the “citizens”, the home stadium of “Mainz” is called “Opel-Arena”.
Mercedes-Benz. Everything is transparent and logical. And although the club’s successes are not as brilliant as the famous three-pointed star, the flagship of the world automotive industry has been actively supporting Stuttgart since 2008. First, “Mercedes” received the rights to the name of the stadium, and since 2012 it has become the title sponsor of the club. By the way, “Mercedes-Benz-Arena” is located in close proximity to the plant and the museum of the automaker.
Audi AG is one of the 4 main sponsors of the Munich club. The logos “Adidas” and “Telekom” are present on the uniforms, and the Bavarian stadium is called the “Allianz-Arena”, while the automotive partner is not reflected in the external attributes. Nevertheless, Audi owns 8 percent of the club’s shares, and also pays Bayern Munich an amount of about $ 10 million annually. In addition, under the contract, Audi provides the club’s players with cars from the latest model range.
Wolfsburg’s stadium is called the Volkswagen-Arena, and the famous VW emblem has been printed on uniforms for many years along with the club logo. All of this happens for one reason. Volkswagen is not only the main sponsor of Wolfsburg, but has fully owned a controlling stake in this club since the middle of the last century. It is curious that despite the lack of great success, the car brand is investing huge amounts of money in the development of Wolfsburg. The club annually receives about $ 100 million from the concern.