I spoke to a Championship side about this idea before and it went nowhere (for many reasons). It is an incredibly powerful way for a sporting organisation to support a cause. I can’t think of many that have done it, obviously Barcelona for UNICEF, but not many others. My conversations were around asking a team to do it for just one game, maybe a local derby. So this commitment from Blackburn Rovers is really great. Here is the info from their site
The partnership will see Rovers donate the branding space on its famous shirts to the charity instead of selling the space to a sponsor.
The club, which has a history of running Prince’s Trust programmes for disadvantaged young people in the area, has committed to fundraising for the charity throughout the season in addition to the pro bono shirt contribution.
Simon Williams, head of commercial and marketing at BRFC, said:
“The club has enjoyed a strong and productive relationship with The Prince’s Trust since 2005 and this agreement takes that relationship onto another level. The exposure The Prince’s Trust will obtain as our shirt partner will greatly increase the level of awareness for the charity and hopefully encourage fundraising for the fantastic work they do to with young people.”
Rovers decided to reject some commercial sponsorship offers in order to grasp the special partnership opportunity.
It would have been interesting to know how much they could have sold the sponsorship for? Last year the BBC reported that clubs like Utd and Liverpool were making 20million a year from shirt sponsorships, with clubs at the lower end of the premiership earning between 0.5 -1 million. The article states that “Shirt sponsorship typically makes up between 2% and 10% of total club revenues, industry figures suggest”. So this is a sizeable investment/donation by the club.
Anyone got any other examples of clubs (in other sports) that have done this?
Thanks to Mark Barkaway for the tweet.