Manchester City is going the traditional route by keeping on Nexen Tire as their shirt sleeve sponsor and official partner. Nexen has sponsored City since 2015 and started their shirt sleeve sponsorship for the Premier League winning 2017/18 season.
Nexen is an international tire manufacturer based in South Korea, and they believe the Manchester City sponsorship helps them enter into the European market. The tire manufacturer said the sponsorship has been successful an allowed them to reach a wider audience.
Elsewhere in Premier League sponsorship deals, clubs are turning more from traditional institutions to financial markets such as cryptocurrency exchanges and sports betting websites. The shift is indicative of the Premier League’s interest in expanding their sponsorship deals to include upstart Internet companies.
Sports betting has long been a fixture in sponsorship deals, but now more clubs are turning to cryptocurrency for shirt sponsorships and other deals. Seven Premier League clubs now have cryptocurrency-based sponsorships, and they accepted Bitcoin as payment for the deal.
Premier League clubs are increasingly showing interest in the future of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Massive clubs are beginning to look into the market as a potential way to diversify their investment and learn more about the phenomenon. And at the end of the day, football is a business for many owners, so it’s no surprise to see Newcastle owner Mike Ashley among the list of names in the cryptocurrency sponsorship deal.
Sports betting firms are everywhere in English football, and the growing trend is beginning to worry many observers. Problem gambling experts have highlighted what they believe to be a disturbing trend of gambling firm sponsorship deals. Currently, nine Premier League clubs and 17 Championship teams will have gambling firms as their main shirt sponsor for the 2018/2019 season.
The head of NHS England Simon Stevens has said that Premier League clubs should do more to help stem the problem of gambling addiction in the country. The Labour Party has also called for a ban on gambling advertisements during live sporting events.
So, despite the prevalence of gambling sponsorships in football, gambling firms face obstacles from multiple directions. The spread of gambling sponsorship may have reached its peak, and if government regulation gets its way other industries may step into to fill that sponsorship void.
More traditional sponsors such as Nexen and other brand name products will likely always have their hand in top sport, but innovative industries are likely to see a rise in their impact on the global game. Cryptocurrency and blockchain are becoming of more interest to football clubs across the globe, and it is only a matter of time before top English sides follow suit.
In January during the peak of Bitcoin hype, Harunustaspor, an amateur Turkish side, bought a player in part with Bitcoin. Many hailed it as the first football transfer to use any kind of cryptocurrency. While the transfer fee was small compared to the massive numbers thrown around by to clubs, it could be an indication of the future of the football transfer market.
However, it is unlikely that we will see Manchester City’s next transfer targets bought in Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. For the time being, cryptocurrency markets are largely for investors and traders, rather than being used as a traditional currency.
But, we could still see an increase in the number of blockchain and cryptocurrency sponsorships in the Premier League as pressure mounts on gambling firm sponsorships. Who knows, perhaps Nexen Tires will be replaced by a new cryptocurrency sponsorship and Sheikh Mansour will accept sponsorship payment in Bitcoin or Ethereum.