No one really likes sponsors on their club kits – not even if we get the delightful japes of the company’s jovial mascot to liven things up around the club.
Before Paddy’s Save Our Shirt campaign came along, every club – even the holier-than-thou enclave of Barcelona – bowed to the commercial “realities” of the advertising billboard that is their kit and plastered some widget merchant or other on their hallowed colours.
Some sponsors become part of the furniture for teams – does anyone know what an ABN AMRO is? No, but everyone remembers them from Ajax’s nineties shirts.
Usually, though they’re an ugly addition. United’s Ed Woodward’s clearly a marketing whiz if he’s able to get people to fork out year after year for a red kit with a garish golden Chevrolet logo smeared across it.
And some are even worse. Here’s our selection of shirt sponsor oddities.
Atletico Madrid – Columbia Pictures
You know how the complaints go now, new kits every year, £90 quid a pop, what a racket. Well, how’d you like your kit being out-of-date every couple of weeks? Atletico Madrid pulled this stunt back in 2003/04 when the then-cash-strapped club linked up with Columbia Pictures to promote their latest releases throughout the season. Hitch, Spanglish, Resident Evil 2, Anaconda and Spiderman 2 – all bona fide classics you’ll agree – got stuck on their kits throughout the season. That’s showbiz!
Getafe – Burger King
Not only did they emblazon the multinational minced-meat purveyor cartoonish stamp on the outside of the jersey, but the inside had the actual Burger King’s face on the inside too. Should you wish to expose the massive gut you’ve developed from scoffing BK’s fare by pulling the shirt Ravanelli-style over your head, you’d have his nightmarishly hairy mug covering the shame that ought to be etched all over your greasy face.
Clydebank – Wet Wet Wet
At least it’s a local business eh?
The Bankies looked like the wankies with the naff nineties pop band stepping in to sponsor the kits with the cash earned from their string of chart-middling hits.
Love is all around? Preferred The Troggs version Marti.
Voukefalas – Soula Villa Erotica
Look, times were tough back in 2012 in Greece, and to make ends meet this side from Larissa did a deal with a local brothel that saw them advertise the wares of this fine establishment on their clobber.
It was a real attention grabber for the club and the sponsor, though the deal reportedly had to end when the several players were found to be frequenting it rather than the physio’s table for their post-training rubdowns.
West Brom – No Smoking
Smoking’s not big or clever, but did we really need this message to pasted on Albion’s stripes in 1984/85? Fair play for thinking of public health, though maybe they’d consider the mental health of their supporters if they’re so publicly spirited because the Baggies are responsible for more than their fair of psychological trauma in the West Midlands.
Though we’ll always have Boiler Man.