Often Partisan

Shirt Sponsors and Commercial Progress

Ian Dutton tweeted yesterday that Blues will confirm their new shirt sponsor on Monday 09 July in succession to the RationalFX deal that expired at the end of last season. Should we be excited about there being a new name on the front of the kit at St Andrews or is this a standard announcement that has been overly hyped?

I guess the most pleasing thing is that the kit deal has been sorted out in good time this year. Blues didn’t announce the RationalFX deal until August 11 last year – due in no small part to some of the problems Blues went through last summer with the arrest of Carson Yeung, relegation to the Championship and a manager jumping ship across the expressway. Despite there being similar problems this year – Carson seeing High Court Judges more often than his wife, failure to be promoted and a manager being nicked by a team in the top flight Blues have managed to tie down someone to associate themselves with the club. This is a good thing.

I have to admit that whilst I’m not the kind of person to buy replica shirts I also feel a little bit picky about what company name that Blues do end up with emblazoned across the Royal Blue. Without wanting to denigrate companies or other teams I’d be disappointed if we ended up with someone like wonga.com or Cash Converters – could you imagine the rip we’d have to suffer from our brethren across the A38(M) for having a sponsor like that coupled with some of Blues’ recent financial issues?

I’ve seen the cynicism online about the excitement from the commercial department surrounding the announcement and I can see where they’re coming from – after all, shirt sponsorship deals are pretty much expected in professional football and I can’t imagine the numbers involved in the deal would be sufficiently eye-popping to raise many eyebrows. I can understand that right now there is a need to promote positive news around the club and to try to increase the feelgood factor but right now I think that will only be done when the first signings of players are made. It’s my impression that Blues fans have had enough of the financial side of things and want to get back to the reason we all follow the club – the action on the pitch.

However, despite all the cynicism I think that this is yet more evidence of the progress the club is making this month. With the embargo lifted, the kit deal sorted and sponsor name to be confirmed on Monday Blues have pretty much done all they need to behind the scenes to prepare for the season ahead. If Blues are to be self-sufficient as Peter Pannu said then they need to be able to maximise their commercial income and the hope is that Blues are on the way to do so; after all, the more money the club can make the less need they have to sell players to keep the books in the black – and that can only be a good thing.

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41 Responses to “Shirt Sponsors and Commercial Progress”

  • Reeboh says:

    I believe it will be a decent firm, not as much as what we got in the F&C deal (£400k per season on the initial contract) but somewhere near is what I have been told. When I say decent firm, I mean the logo isn’t too bad!

    I can see us going for sponsorship on player backs and shorts also this season.

  • Rathater says:

    Don’t tease us, if you know just say!!!

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Hope it’s a local company like JLR or Cadburys

    Small steps but gloom decreasing with each one

  • Shane says:

    I see it as a positive that we have a shirt sponsor I personally would like to say a big thanks to Rationalfx they supported us when most other people would not touch us with a barge pole I also believe a new shirt sponsor is another step in the right direction and I have heard a romour that it’s gonna be pound land

  • jrf says:

    Heard a little rumour that Virgin could be an interested party in some form or another…………fingers crossed!!!! KRO.

  • ahawkins says:


  • Mickey07 says:

    People whipping themselves up over a shirt sponsor is “Small Time” pathetic even…. wish people would wake up and smell the coffee,yeung and the rest of his gang OUT…..

  • Steve-0 says:

    Great post mickey, you’re in a league of your own mate.

  • Daddybluenose says:

    With the rumours going around have heard Virgin, BT, and cadburys either way at least it’s sorted now and not last minute cus last year was a fiasco at this time.

    • DoctorD says:

      @Paul Carter — JLR and Cadbury might seem local but they’re owned by conglomerates based in India and the US respectively. We’re probably far too small fry for them — Cadbury have other advertising routes while I can’t see many in the Blues supporters’ base having the cash to buy a Jag.

      • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

        Doesn’t matter who owns Cadbury or JLR they are local firms full of local people.

        JLR and Cadbury have both had low level commercial deals with the Blues before, there are still Cadbury adverts in the ground.

        My preference would be a local firm everytime if possible

      • Pete says:

        Well I have one and might be tempted to another….

  • sam says:

    Bring back Mark One

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Maybe we could end up with somethink like one of these?

    Some of my favs are Granada Bingo (Coventry City) or ‘Le 69’ as emblazened on Lyon’s shirts. Hilarious to Italians was SEGA on Arsenal shirts (direct translation to w*nk!). Or even the kit for Deportivo Wanka (Peru) who proudly have ‘D Wanka’ on display. Apparantly the team is in the historial catchment area of the Wanka tribe, not sure what the collective is for that :-)

  • KRO21 says:

    Whoever it is will look shocking with a logo plastered on the rumoured pink away kit…

  • mitchell says:

    Ansells Brewery – Best sponsor/looking kit in the history of football!

  • Mickey07 says:

    Breaking news……
    All this good news just doesn’t stop does it??first the kit deal,then the new sponsor deal secured,now I’ve heard on the grapevine we have secured a new set of goalposts off eBay (disused ones from wagon lane last season)also to whip you guys up even more on this damp Friday afternoon we are trying to broker a deal on a second hand set of nets from a Grimsby trawler company,the sticking point is that the boat in question went out to sea on Tuesday but due to adverse weather conditions the boat has not been seen since…..anyway the club ask our fans to be patient and will update everyone via twitter…a club spokesman also added we hope to wrap up the deal by monday and hope nothing fishy is going on……

  • Jay Sidney says:

    There’s obviously a need to lighten the mood every so often – especially with the nightmare situation Blues have been in for a good while and only now may hopefully be slowly edging away from.

    However, rumours (large or small) and grapevines ain’t the same as proof or other official announcements and, while I don’t always agree with almajir’s personal views, he does try to stick to facts and good on him for that.

  • bluenose08 says:

    Just read on the b.c.f.c site colin doyle has signed a new contract. Now i am sure he had other offers from clubs [ipswich] so its refreshing to hear him say he likes it at blues and wants to stay and he is our longest serving player and i look forward to seeing him in a blues shirt again this season. I know there are a few fans that dont rate colin doyle but at least give him credit for the loyalty he has shown to the club.

  • andy says:

    With Pannu talking about the club being self sufficient its down to the supporters to help that happen by gettin tickets and attending the games regular. Its ok talking about eye popping sums to prize our best players away but if supporters show apathy,dont attend games and moan about things then i think the eye popping figures will come down quite a bit. I thing Blues have got a good manager in Lee Clark, so lets make sure we get down there and support him and his team.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    I have read somewhere that we will also get a ground renaming deal as well as the shirt. Something similar to Bolton’s Reebok stadium. St. Andrews could become something like the Sports Direct dot com stadium. Have u heard anything like that Al?

  • woody says:

    I don’t care what colour the away shirt is its still goin to be on my back oh and by the way you know what they say about pink….it makes the chicks wink

  • andy says:

    Dont like all these money making schemes and taking away a clubs tradition. Lets hope it stays St Andrews and we remain Blue and not Red!!

  • Jay Sidney says:

    Where are all these rumours coming from about name of shirt sponsors, colour of change kit and ground name? Why won’t people name their sources?

    Also, there was talk of Birmingham City FC changing its name a few years back to some tacky sponsor title or other. There was such an outcry from Blues fans that the club’s then MD (Karren Brady) moved to publicly announce that the club would NOT be undergoing a name change.

  • Of course, Birmingham will not get a sponsor like Jaguar or Cadbury. The good thing is that we probably will get a sponsor. Last year, it looked like we didn’t get one and then the club said that they would have different sponsors for each game and then finally Rational came in.
    How embarrassing it would have been to play without a sponsor.

  • Mickey07 says:

    Pinched from the. Blues site “Abdul Rashid, EZE Group’s European Commercial Director, said: “Our successful partnership with Blues last season played an important role in building our profile and the fact that we have now agreed to become official principal partner, reflects the strength of the relationship we have built with the club”……… Mayor is that the same Abdul rashid that worked down villa for years under doug?and done a good job for them I must add,he’s a right footballing man…..just out of interest like….

    • almajir says:

      Unfortunately not Mickey.

      Looking on Linkedin, the bloke who worked at Villa now works as a Sales and Marketing consultant for some firm.

      It’s not the most uncommon of names at all in fairness.

  • Mickey07 says:

    Ah right,yeh I know it’s a common name amongst the Asian community…..just remember him down villa.

  • DoctorD says:

    I like this on the EZEGroup’s blog


    Midlands “Giants” Birmingham City. Flattery will get you everywhere

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