Giving Your Logo Away – Clever Sponsorship? 4th December, 2017

This week has seen the headline partner of Fulham FC, Grosvenor Casinos, donate their shirt sponsorship to the Fulham Football Club Foundation (FFCF) for the match against Birmingham City on 9th Dec, in an initiative whereby supporters will be asked to bring £1 to the ground to donate to the Foundation. In addition to this, fans can bid for match worn shirts, which will be signed and donated following the fixture, with all funds going directly to FFCF’s disability provision in the community.

Undoubtedly, this is a great gesture from the brand who have spent a substantial sum to have their name printed on the front of Fulham’s shirt this season, and rightly so, the gesture has been recognised.

Grosvenor Casinos follow the likes of SportPesa (Everton), Betway (West Ham) and Virgin Media (Southampton) who have also donated their headline shirt sponsorship to raise awareness for charitable organisations this season alone. Whilst this is positive, it begs the question as to why brands are seemingly so happy to give up something they have invested so much in? Call us cynics, but there is always an agenda in business, and whilst this is a good cause it is also good business for the brand.

Brands invest in shirt sponsorships for a multitude of reasons but to the majority of people the largest logo on the kit is the most valuable asset. Whilst this may be true in terms of expense, most sponsorship professionals would argue that the assets purchased beyond this is where the true value of a sponsorship lies, allowing the brand to connect at a deeper level with its intended audience. Either way, brands realise that giving up their logo space for one game isn’t going to negatively affect them, in fact the decision to do it may have much more positive consequences for the brand.

The donation gives Grosvenor Casinos great PR and practically allows the brand to re-announce that they are the headline partner of the club. By donating the space for a week, it refreshes the partnership and will most likely lead fans to recognise that Grosvenor Casinos are back on the shirt the following week, resulting in a more positive recall.

Now we don’t know the true motives behind these agreements and it may well just be a selfless gesture with no thought of a gain for the brand, but as we see increasing amounts of these charitable agreements they may well be viewed as a clever tactic from brands, rather than an act of charity. Ultimately, if what’s good for business is good for charity, it can only be a positive thing for all and in future it may lead brands to be more creative with the logo ‘space’ they have purchased.