Ten Longest Running Shirt Sponsors In Football

Ten Longest Running Shirt Sponsors In Football

The past decade has seen the end of some truly iconic and enduring shirt sponsorship:  Pirelli and Inter parted ways after 26 years, PSV broke from Phllips after 33 years and Celta Vigo lost Citroen after 31. 

Though these stints are undoubtedly impressive, there exists a number of less high profile partnerships that began before Pirelli ever thought about slapping their logo on Inters shirts back in the mid 90’s and look set to continue long in the future. 

Today we are casting a wider net and taking a look around the world of football to find the most enduring collaborations. From Mexican cement works to multinational corporations via a Northern Irish haulage company, these are the 10 longest running shirt sponsors and their stories.

 

Rangers De Talca (Chile) - PF 1977 

 

 

You probably won’t have heard of Chilean side Rangers De Talca but thanks to locally based food producer PF they have the distinction of being the side with the longest running shirt sponsorship in football history, with the company having first sponsored the side all the way back in 1977. 

 

Yokohama F. Marinos - Nissan - 1988 

 

 

Having begun life as the Nissan Motor Football Club it's hardly a surprise to see the side now known as Yokohama F. Marinos continue to have such a close connection with the company that gave rise to them. Having displayed the company's logo on their shirts since 1988.

 

Ballymena United - McBurney transport 1988

 

 

Northern Ireland’s Ballymena United have, rather charmingly, been backed by local haulage company McBurney Transport for 33 years and counting, having first appeared on the sides shirts back in 1988 

 

Cruz Azul - Cemento Cruz Azul 1988 

 

 

Having been formed by workers of the Cruz Azul cement factory in the 1920’s, the Cruz Azul football team have long carried the nickname The Cement Makers and the company's logo has featured front and centre on the sides shirts since 1988. 

 

VfL Wolfsburg - Volkswagen 1992

 

 

Having literally created the city it’s situated in, it's no surprise that Volkswagen have, aside from a six month break in 2008 for charity, displayed the Volkswagen logo on the front of their shirts since 1992, having been involved in the team from the start.

 

Gamba Osaka - Panasonic - 1992 

 

 

Like many sides in Japan, Gamba Osaka was established as a company team. Having been born out of the Matsushita Electric Industrial Corp, better known globally as Panasonic, they are still financially backed by the company. 

 

Atletico Quilmes - Quilmes 1996

 

 

Better known as an iconic sponsor for Boca and River, the Quilmes brewery currently has longest running beer sponsorship anywhere in world football, having now sponsored local side Atletico Quilmes for a quarter of a century.

 

Zenit St Petersburg - Gazprom - 1997 

 

 

Russian energy giants Gazprom are no strangers to using sport to spread their brand but long before they even dipped a toe in Champions League sponsorship they were backing Zenit St Petersburg. After eight years of sponsorship they decided it would be easier to buy the team outright in 2005.

 

Atlético Nacional - Postobón 1998

 

 

Colombia’s most popular side has, since 1998, been backed by Colombia’s largest beverage company, Postobón. With both the club and sponsor based in the city of Medellin it seemed a natural fit 23 years ago and it's not a partnership that looks to be ending anytime soon.

 

AS Monaco - Fedcom 1999

 

 

Sulphur and fertiliser producer Fedcom was first displayed on Monaco’s shirts in the era of Trezeguet and Barthes and has been an ever-present ever since with the side announcing this year that the company would become a ‘legacy sponsor’ which according to the clubs site entitles them to “privileged links with the club’s various entities” - which is remarkably vague.

 

Honourable mention - Club America - Coca Cola 1988 - present

 

 

Coca Cola have been present on Club America’s shirts since 1988 but have not been title sponsors since 2005, with that mantle being taken on by Bimbo and later Huawei. 

 

Words by Andy Gallagher

 

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