The Premier League announced today that England’s top division will be sponsor-less after its current deal with Barclays concludes next season. From 2016/17, The Premier League will be the official title of the top flight, the first time it has been without a sponsor since its inaugural season back in 1992. Sources suggest the change is a strategic move to create a ‘clean brand’ in line with most U.S. sporting organisations such as the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball, however it will still pinch the pocket financially. The last deal made with Barclays resulted in a £120 million windfall for the Premier League, and it’s uncertain whether this is a permanent move or simply a temporary one until a suitable and respected brand can be negotiated with.
With that in mind, here are four potential sponsors that would jump at the chance of partnering with the most popular league in world football.
Sports Direct Premier League
Funded by a £200 million loan paid through the already strained finances of Rangers PLC, Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley would take the Premiership to another level. Match day mascots would be replaced by zero hour Sports Direct staff who are available at an hour’s notice. All merchandise would be run out of Ashley’s stores and all stadiums would be hastily fitted with his companies logo. Overall cost cutting across the board would steer the (premier) ship to sensible but utterly boring shores.
The one thing FIFA needs right now is positive press and getting behind the world’s greatest league is a plum move. Of course, there would be some requirements that are non-negotiable.
All newly promoted teams would play their home games in Dubai to expand the worldwide market, all disciplinary hearings would be resolved diplomatically between 12-18 months and any side that commits a handball must pay €5 million to the opposing team to avoid future legal ramifications.
The ITVBe Premmie
The recently launched ITV spin-off channel has not reached the echelons of success since its birth in October 2014. A lucrative sponsorship deal would be a potential goldmine for ITV and also tap into a new market of football fans to its existing and predominantly female audience. Of course the Saturday night highlights programme da’ Premmie would be removed from the safe hands of the BBC and placed on the ITVBe channel, at the earlier time of 5.15pm and presented by Christine Bleakley and Joey Essex. The programme will be followed by the spin off show More of da’ Premmie, where instead of the actual games, the fly on the wall show focusses on the viewers of the earlier Premmie show and the everyday conflicts that occur. Think Gogglebox but not Gogglebox for legal reasons.
Disney League Soccer
The quickest and boldest revamp in the league’s history sees a major re-branding campaign as the Premier League becomes the DLS, all teams are assigned an official Disney Mascot and nickname. All team specific sponsorship deals involving alcohol are banned as is spitting, one footed tackles, bad or moderate language and chewing gum. However ticket prices are lowered, younger fans are encouraged and the football itself is resized appropriately.