Everton Football Club head of marketing Andy Oldknow has left the club suddenly. His departure came on the day that the club announced its new shirt sponsorship deal.
Oldknow joined Everton in December 2000 from the Football Association, where he was marketing manager.
Since arriving at the club, Oldknow has tried to modernise its marketing and created a five-year plan to foster cradle-to-grave support and revitalise the brand. He was also behind the hiring of the club’s first direct marketing agency, Huet & Company, and its first use of 48-sheet advertising, which ran in February.
Everton refuses to reveal the circumstances behind Oldknow’s departure and whether he has another job to go to. A spokeswoman says: “Oldknow’s contract was terminated by the club on July 17.” On the same day, the club announced a two-year sponsorship deal with Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Kejian. The &£1m deal, which includes the loan of a Chinese player, came about because former sponsor One 2 One aborted its sponsorship of the club after rebranding as T-Mobile. The new shirts will not be available until the end of August. In the meantime, the club will play with blank shirts.
In a separate move, Everton has signed Octagon to act as its sports marketing agent in South-east Asia.