Ed Sheeran Is a European Soccer Club's New Jersey Sponsor—But What Is He Actually Promoting?
American sports fans are just now coming around to the idea of sponsorship on jerseys. The NBA has those teeny tiny little sponsor patches, and the NHL has been toying with the idea for a little while, eventually landing on small sponsor logos on helmets.
In other countries, the sponsorship isn’t so subtle. Soccer fans know what I’m talking about.
Having at least one big sponsor logo on the front of a jersey is par for the course in soccer (if we may mix our sports metaphors for a second). It’s typically some big insurance company or airline.
Ipswich Town, however, gets the distinct honor of advertising what looks like an upcoming Ed Sheeran tour. Or maybe an album? Or maybe just Sheeran himself. It’s sort of unclear, actually.
Next year, Ipswich Town, whose nickname is the Tractor Boys, will have the symbols previously used by Sheeran on his albums, along with the word “Tour.” That’s all we know.
Ed Sheeran is the new Ipswich Town sponsor. No joke. pic.twitter.com/2feIiuJv9m
— Phil Delves (@phildelves) May 6, 2021
Sheeren previously collaborated with Ipswich Town for a special Ipswich-themed T-shirt on the last date of his 2019 tour in Ipswich’s Chantry Park.
“The football club is a big part of the local community, and this is my way of showing my support,” Sheeran told BBC.
But, again, what does it actually mean? That’s kind of important for advertising.
“All will be revealed in time,” he said.
Other bands have dipped their toes into sponsoring soccer shirts. Irish rock band Fontaines D.C. formed a partnership with Dublin’s Bohemian F.C. to sponsor their away shirt. Bohemian F.C. has traditionally given that space to different charities, rather than simply commercial entities. Fontaines D.C. partnered with the club’s main sponsor, Des Kelly Interiors, to take up space on the shirt with 15% of jersey profits going to Focus Ireland, a nonprofit to benefit homeless people or people who are at risk of becoming homeless.
— Bohemian Football Club (@bfcdublin) March 13, 2021
Maybe this will be a new trend in the entertainment world as sponsorship becomes more commonplace in the U.S. Imagine the Lakers getting the new Red Hot Chili Peppers record cover plastered on their jerseys, or some DJ’s Vegas residency on the Golden Knights sweaters.
What makes Sheeran’s sponsorship next-level smart is that we still don’t know what it is, so even fans of other clubs will want to keep an eye on Ipswich to see what exactly that mysterious logo is for, and what he could possibly be advertising for an entire season that runs from August to May.