Premier League title sponsor Barclaycard has been accused of selling ambush marketing opportunities on its website pages.
Barclaycard’s website, 4thegame. com, receives about 50 million hits a month and features pages dedicated to teams and Premier League players. The company has now started to sell advertising packages giving brands the chance to link up with individual players or clubs.
One sports marketing insider who has been approached by the Barclaycard sales team claims the deal was being marketed as “a plain invitation” to ambush club sponsors. He adds: “I wonder how Barclaycard would feel if Mastercard came in and tried to buy all the top clubs.”
A spokesman for Barclaycard, which is entering the second year of its £48m three-year sponsorship deal, defended the move. “I don’t see anything different to advertising opposite a newspaper article. 4thegame is a commercial proposition and these are our pages.”
“I’m sure the sales team will go to the brands most closely associated with the clubs and players,” he adds.