How Removing a Sponsor Logo From a Jersey Turned Out to Be a Genius Marketing Move
The most sought-after sponsorship in English soccer (read: "football") might just be the company that is removing its logo from all apparel.
For the uninformed, European soccer clubs have at least one shirt sponsor that takes up prime real estate on the front of their jerseys. Some teams in less lucrative leagues look like NASCAR drivers, while other sponsorships are a less numerous or understated.
For English side Huddersfield Town, the way that sponsor Paddy Power unveiled its brave new anti-sponsorship campaign was pretty genius.
The team first "released" its new shirt, which had the Paddy Power logo in a sash design, taking up most of the front of the shirt. Fans were upset, but smelled something fishy. Shortly after, the company announced on Twitter that it was, in fact, a hoax, and that it was trying something a little different with its sponsorship.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) July 19, 2019
And from that, the "Save Our Shirt" campaign was started.
It's a genius move, really. Soccer purists (who are currently screaming at me to call it "football") want the uniforms ("kits" if you're a purist) to be clean of sponsorship. This is a way to appeal to them and still get your name all over the highly regarded campaign. The team is going to make more money from shirt sales, Paddy Power gets all the credit for this act of sportsmanship and altruism, and they still get to put their logo all over the stadium.
It didn't stop at Huddersfield, either.
Scotland has always played an influential role in shaping history and now it does so once again as Motherwell have become the second team to join our #SaveOurShirt campaign! pic.twitter.com/Jr7fnrNJOm
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) July 22, 2019
Other sites are now theorizing what all Premier League teams would look like if it joined the trend.
All 20 Premier League clubs unsponsored.
— BSN (@BallStreet) July 19, 2019
Is "un-sponsorship" the future of uniform sponsorship? After the NBA implemented sponsorship patches and the MLB looks to follow suit, it looks like the scales might at least tip. The U.S. sports world would be full of corporate logos, but the U.K. would abandon its long-held tradition of sponsored shirts.
Whether that happens or not, this way of advertising in the negative space is a true masterstroke by Paddy Power.