16 of football’s weirdest sponsors ever

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Burger King (Getafe)

Let’s not get into the colossal mismatch that exists between fast food and professional football, and focus instead on the horrendous way BK managed to spread the image of their creepy mascot in the late noughties.

The ‘Burger King’ had his rubbery face printed on the inside of Getafe’s 2009/10 shirt, so when a player pulled it over his head in a Ravanelli-style celebration, the monarch of meat’s mug would be displayed for all to see. And it seemed to work: the Azulones scored 58 goals that season and finished sixth in La Liga.

Azerbaijan (Atletico Madrid)

Sheffield United may have had Visit Malta on their shirts in 2009, but it wasn’t long ago that a whole country sponsoring a football team seemed strange.

Back in the halcyon days of 2014, Qatar’s propulsion of PSG towards becoming a footballing superpower was still work in progress, so Atleti’s slightly confrontational ‘LAND OF FIRE’ shirts seemed all the more unusual. In fairness, though, they looked even weirder on Sheffield Wednesday. Speaking of which...

Chupa Chups (Sheffield Wednesday)

There are some shirts you could legitimately call masterpieces – the blue and gold of Boca Juniors, or the elegant green of early ‘80s Saint-Etienne, for example – but not many clubs have had a genuine, world-famous artist involved in designing their kit.

Admittedly Salvador Dali had no idea in 1969 that his Chupa Chups logo would appear on Sheffield Wednesday’s shirt 30 years later, but until David Hockney is being commissioned to knock something up for, the Owls are in the minority.

Soula (Voukefalas)

If you already know what Soula is, it’s probably best you don’t admit it – unless you’re a fan of Greek side Voukefalas, that is. If that’s the case, you’ll be well aware that it’s a brothel from the city of Larissa that sponsored the local team in 2012.

Blaming a lack of funding from the Greek authorities, the club’s president said the deal was struck for “purely economic reasons”. Allegations from away fans that Voukefalas couldn’t score in a brothel remain unproven.

Columbia Pictures (Atletico Madrid)

Atleti’s second appearance on this list probably says all you need to know about the club’s financial troubles once upon a time. In 2003, the club signed a sponsorship deal with movie studio Columbia Pictures, and as a result had to give up their shirt to flicks of varying quality throughout the season.

The best? Either Guillermo Del Toro’s comic book adventure Hellboy, or Bad Boys 2. The worst? Take your pick from White Chicks, Spanglish or Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid. No wonder Fernando Torres left.