CARS x FOOTBALL: When Car Manufacturers Sponsor Football Shirts
Back once again with a sponsor theme, this time we focus on the seemingly, 'very 90's' theme, of motor companies jumping into bed with football clubs. That's right, we're going back to the day when senior players were awarded a match bonus with the latest Mondeo instead of cold hard cash!
The worlds of cars and football have long intertwined, from Chelsea’s iconic car park behind the goal at Stamford Bridge to people literally playing football with cars! Look...
And the world of shirt sponsorships is no different. From Chevrolet to Renault, the partnerships between big clubs and big brands have (almost) always been lucrative endeavours for all involved.
So today we’ve picked out ten of our favourite and most memorable car sponsorships in football.
Mercedes Benz – Germany/Stuttgart
In the world of football, German luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz have had two major interests: their long running partnership with the German national side that ended in 2018 and their ongoing near 10 year run sponsoring the shirts and stadium of hometown club VfB Stuttgart.
Fiat – Boca
While the likes of Juventus, Racing Club and Palmeiras have all carried the iconic Italian car manufacturers sponsor, no one did it better than Boca. While only lasting three years from 1989-92 the shirts produced during the period have gone on to achieve legendary status in the football kit world.
Renault Trucks – Lyon
Does Renault trucks count as a car manufacturer? We’ll take it considering they adorned the Lyon shirts during the prime era of Juninho banging in free kick after free kick.
Opel – AC Milan, PSG
Opel may not be too familiar to many readers in the UK but they are, to all intents and purposes, the same company as Vauxhall. The German manufacturer has scaled back its football sponsorships but for a while at the end of the 90’s it felt like they were everywhere.
Chevrolet – Manchester United
53 million quid a year - that’s how much US car manufacturer Chevrolet paid to have their logo on the front of Manchester United’s shirts during what was easily the sides worst spell of the 21st century as Van Gaal, Mourinho and Solskjaer all came along and tried there best. They were so bad that upon signing with teamviewer this year they lost a cool £18 million a year.
Alfa Romeo – Frankfurt
One of the all time great underrated sponsors. From 2013 to 2016 Frankfurt consistently put out some of the nicest kits anywhere on the continent, thanks in no small part to the Italian absolutely stunning Alfa badge slapped on the front. It’s just a shame we couldn’t get a few more years out of this partnership.
Jeep – Juventus
This season has seen Juventus and American SUV brand Jeep celebrating 10 years together by releasing the ugliest shirt of their, largely very good, time together.
Hyundai – Lyon
After taking over from Everest Poker in the summer of 2012, Japanese manufacturer Hyundai initially inked a two year deal with the French side but ultimately carried their association on for almost a decade before handing over to Fly Emirates last year.
VW – Wolfsburg
VW and Wolfsburg are so intrinsically linked that the car manufacturer is responsible for the very existence of the town the club hails from, let alone it’s football team. Having been financial backers of the club for its entire history, VW started to sponsor Wolfsburg’s shirts in the early 90’s and have done so ever since.
Lotus – Norwich
This season has seen Norwich based car company Lotus return to sponsoring its hometown club after fan uproar forced the club to cancel its planned deal with betting firm BK8. It’s the first time since 2006 that the brand's logo has appeared on Norwich’s kits, though they have officially sponsored the club's training facilities for several years.
Words by Andy Gallagher
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