Carling first to remove brand from soccer kits

Glasgow’s famous rival football clubs, Rangers and Celtic, are being forced to offer fans an alternative range of replica kits for children without the name and logo of their main sponsor, Carling lager.

The move follows changes to the drinks industry’s code of practice, which took effect on March 1. The code of practice says that sporting clubs with alcohol brands as kit sponsors must offer unbranded versions of their outfits for children.

Lesley Allman, director of communications at Coors, which owns Carling, says that offering “alcohol-free” child-sized replica shirts “is a UK beer and football industry first”, and fits in with Coors’ active involvement in programmes to promote sensible drinking. Carling signed a three-year, £12m joint sponsorship for the two clubs earlier this year (MW November 28, 2002).

However, questions remain over how easy it will be for consumers to purchase the unbranded alternative shirts. While Allman says that “our understanding is that the shirts will be readily available on request”, a spokeswoman for Celtic says that the kit “will be available, but may not be on display” and that it may not be promoted. Rangers said in a statement that it would be “releasing a limited number of unbranded replica jerseys for children”.

Jack Law, chief executive of Scottish alcohol charity Alcohol Focus Scotland, wants to see alcohol branding banned from children’s sports kits altogether, because otherwise “kids will choose the shirt with the logo on, because that is what their heroes are wearing”.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

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

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

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 will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

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