The impressive reason why Sheffield United have turned down multi-million pound sponsorship deals
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Since being promoted back to the Premier League, which one source last night insisted will “guarantee three billion eyes worldwide” are on Paul Heckingbottom’s side “every single week”, United are believed to have received approaches from numerous betting companies looking to place their logo on the team’s jersey ahead of the forthcoming season.
Although all of the offers made are financially lucrative, United chiefs and members of their commercial department have chosen not to accept them and explore possible opportunities in other spheres instead. The motivation for that decision is to ensure that older supporters feel comfortable allowing their children to wear United’s jersey and other associated apparel.
Followers of top-flight rivals Chelsea have overwhelmingly voiced their opposition to plans by Stamford Bridge chiefs to enter into an agreement with an online casino, with a survey conducted by the Supporters’ Trust revealing nearly 80 percent of its members were against the proposal.
“An online casino and betting company as the primary shirt sponsor is not in line with the commitment of growing Chelsea FC as a ‘world class’ organisation,” a statement, issued by the CST, read. “We understand Chelsea’s desire to maximise revenue streams across the whole club. Whilst we accept that it will happen, it must not take place at the expense of the club’s values.”
United are attempting to take a different, some would argue more ethical approach, to their commercial relationships.
With current sponsors Randox Health seemingly unlikely to take up an option to continue as their main partner, United are thought to be seeking at least £6m from the vitro diagnostics firm’s successor. Given the exposure PL status brings, that represents value for money in what is an extremely competitive market.
In what could be a further incentive to interested parties, United have previously demonstrated a willingness to help aggressively promote their business partner’s branding; staging a high-profile launch of their new kit deal with Errea at the clothing manufacturers’ headquarters in Parma, Italy, last summer.