Barclaycard accused of Net ‘ambush’

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.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here