The most iconic Premier League shirt sponsors

Article   |   1st September 2023

Ask any football fan what their club's favourite shirt is and you can almost guarantee there'll be a nostalgic feel - with the main sponsor playing a huge part.

If you’re into football, you probably can’t help but notice the vast number of betting sponsors that adorn Premier League shirts. West Ham, Brentford, Bournemouth to name a few – in fact, at the start of the 23/24 Premier League season, 35% of teams had a gambling firm as their main kit sponsor. That’s seven out of twenty.

Due to the over-saturated and potentially harmful betting sponsors, Premier League clubs have collectively agreed to withdraw them from the front of their match day shirts by the end of the 2025-26 season.

This makes the Premier League the first sports league in the UK to take voluntary action to reduce gambling advertising.

When discussing the topic of football shirt sponsors a few weeks into the new season, it got the ads creative solutions team thinking about their team’s most memorable shirts. Take a look at the list below for our favourites.

Arsenal X O2

Ask any Arsenal fan to think of a past shirt sponsor, you can bet most of them will mention O2.

It became the main shirt sponsor in 2002, the year the brand launched and spent 10 years in partnership with the club.

In 2012, after ten years of sponsoring the club (four on the match day shirt), O2 decided to focus their efforts on rugby clubs and its Academy venues. However, the O2 brand will live long in the memory of many football fans, given Arsenal went a record-breaking 49 games unbeaten with the logo advertised on their kits.

Photo of Arsenal in O2 sponsored shirt
Photo credit: Arsenal (Stuart MacFarlane) via Getty Images

Everton X NEC

Everton’s main sponsor from 1985 until 1995 was the electronic supplier, NEC. There’s always something nostalgic about the kits you win something in, not only is it great for the fans, but also for the brand that is sponsoring the team.

Everton’s 1995 FA Cup final victory was the final game of their decade-long branding partnership, it’s no wonder it has gone down in fan history!

Photo of Everton wearing sponsored NEC shirt in FA Cup final 1995
Photo credit: Getty Images

Huddersfield Town X Paddy Power

Huddersfield Town caused a stir in the summer of 2019 when they supposedly had a Paddy Power sash adorning their match day shirts.

The Terriers wore the shirt in a pre-season friendly against Rochdale before announcing it was part of a marketing stunt. They would actually go on to wear a sponsor-less shirt as part of Paddy Power’s “Save Our Shirt” campaign for the rest of the season.

This stunt resulted in the club landing in hot water, with the FA fining them £50,000 for breaching kit and advertising regulations.

Photo of Huddersfield Town player in Paddy Power shirt sponsor
Photo credit: Getty Images

Liverpool X Carlsberg

There is no longer standing branding partnership in the Premier League than Liverpool’s relationship with Carlsberg, which currently stands at 31 seasons.

From the 92/93 season until 2010, Carlsberg was the main sponsor across all of Liverpool’s match day shirts. Whilst the shirt sponsor may have since changed, Carlsberg is still the Official Beer Partner of the club.

When you picture Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League comeback in Milan, the classic Reebok kit with Carlsberg on the front lives fresh in the memory.

Liverpool wearing shirt with Carlsberg as sponsor
Photo credit: Getty Images

Newcastle United X Newcastle Brown Ale

There are not many more fitting shirt sponsors than Newcastle United and Newcastle Brown Ale.

The Magpies wore shirts with sponsors from local breweries for 20 years, including Newcastle Breweries, Greenall’s Beers and McEwan’s Lager in the 1980s. But probably the most famous of the bunch was their main sponsor from 1990-2000, Newcastle Brown Ale. Any Newcastle fan thinking of these shirts is likely to picture Alan Shearer with his hand above his head celebrating one of his 260 Premier League goals.

Alan Shearer in Newcastle Brown Ale Newcastle United shirt
Photo credit: Getty Images

We’d like to give a special thank you to Sam, who recently joined us on work experience, for his market research into shirt sponsors within the English football league. We couldn’t have produced this article without your help.

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