16 of football’s weirdest sponsors ever
Scottish Premiership side Hamilton will play their games at the HopeCBD Stadium next season after pocketing a five-figure sponsorship sum. It's caused some debate as the business, which is based at the ground, sells products containing cannabidiol (produced from cannabis plants).
Far out, man! But at least the Accies have a more standard shirt sponsor: Euro Mechanical Handling, who we're all absolutely familiar with. Yet, over the years, clubs have accepted cash from some bizarre places in return for a space on the shirt. These are some prime examples.
Mogwai (Saint Roch's Primary)
When Scottish post-rock band Mogwai released their album Young Team in 1997, they probably never imagined they’d be sponsoring a real one 20 years later. Rather than the local gangs that their debut record refers to, Saint Roch’s Primary is a school in Mogwai’s hometown of Glasgow for kids who are deaf or hard of hearing – which is quite fitting considering how loud the band’s gigs are.
Flowery Field (Wiener Viktoria)
Flowery Field might sound like a garden centre, and in a way it is, but it’s one that specialises in a very particular type of plant. Sponsors of Toni Polster’s Wiener Viktoria, Flowery Field is a specialist cannabis grower.
There’s no suggestion that the team from Austria’s fourth tier have been testing out the company’s merchandise, but they did lose 24-0 to Wienerberg back in May last year, so you can make your own mind up on that one.
Angry Birds (Everton)
Surfing the zeitgeist like Big Sam on a granite bodyboard, Everton took the opportunity to slap the name of 2010’s most popular smartphone game on the sleeve of their 2017 shirt.
Word is that the Toffees also get pumped up for each game by listening to F**k You by Cee-Lo Green and unwind afterwards in front of an episode of Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show. Some of the team have also signed up to something called Facebook.
Flamingo Land (Hull)
As sponsors go, Flamingo Land isn’t the strangest. It’s a local attraction for Hullensians, and besides: who doesn’t enjoy a day at the zoo? No, FourFourTwo’s main problem with it is that there are far more than just flamingos at Flamingo Land, so it’s like calling a supermarket Broccoli World.
Of course, it could’ve been worse for Hull fans. Given club owner Assem Allam’s track record, they could’ve seen shirts turned pink and players forced to play every game standing on one leg.
Jagermeister (Eintracht Braunschweig)
Booze sponsors used to be everywhere in football, but for better or worse (it’s definitely worse) they’ve been gradually replaced by betting companies.
Back in 1973, shirt sponsorship wasn’t even allowed in Germany, so Eintracht Braunschweig changed the club logo to that of everyone’s favourite Red Bull accompaniment and stuck that on the front of their kits instead. It’s almost as if that gave Austria’s premier purveyor of extreme sports and fizzy cough medicine an idea...
Some shirt sponsors just work. Pirelli and Inter; Quilmes and Boca Juniors; or Newcastle and Brown Ale, to name just a few. Portsmouth’s two-year tie-up with Ty, however, was not one of them.
As worn by players such as Tim Sherwood, Amdy Faye and Deon Burton, Ty is an American company most famous for making Beanie Baby soft toys that did nothing but inexplicably change hands for large amounts of money. Ah, hang on. It all makes sense now.