Big brands join 60m FA package

Walkers crisps, Sainsbury’s supermarket and Carlsberg lager are the latest big brands to sign up to the Football Association’s sponsorship package Football Associates, the biggest sports sponsorship deal in the UK.

Football Associates, a package worth 60m over four years, has already attracted Coca-Cola, Umbro and One-2-One, and has room for four more companies in the package.

FA commercial director Philip Carling says: “These deals are still subject to contract negotiation. But we are delighted to have blue chip companies like these using football as a key part of their marketing strategy.”

Umbro and One-2-One will pay between 15m and 20m to be kit suppliers and sponsors of the England team respectively. The others will pay 4m over four years to become a Football Associate until after the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

Sainsbury’s has decided to increase its interest in football after becoming the official supermarket of the England team in March.

Membership of this group gives the company the right to use images of England players in their advertising, signage at England games, as well as corporate hospitality facilities and tickets to games

The Football Associates package is designed to simplify the FA’s sponsorship structure. At present this is split between a package called Team England, a seven-strong sponsorship structure based around the sponsorship of the England team, and Total Football, which is an eight-strong group linked to the FA’s various properties, such as the FA Cup and the FA Vase.

Carlsberg, as an existing Team England sponsor, is promoting itself as the official lager of the England team, while Walkers crisps – already firmly linked to football through its brand spokesman Gary Lineker – joined the Total Football package last year.

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