SBD/August 11, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

EPL Club Blackburn Forgoes Shirt Sponsorship Deal, Donates Rights To Charity

Prince's Trust charity replaces Crown Paints on Blackburn shirts
EPL club Blackburn Rovers players “will wear the name of the Prince’s Trust charity on their shirts this season,” according to Neil Docking of the BLACKBURN CITIZEN. The Prince’s Trust partnership follows Blackburn's three-year, US$8M deal with Crown Paints, which ended after last season. The new deal will see Blackburn “donate the branding space on their football kit to the national charity, instead of selling it to a new sponsor.” The club is just the second EPL team in history "to have a charity as their main shirt sponsor." Aston Villa "teamed up with the Acorns Children's Hospice Trust in 2008, wearing the charity’s logo for two years.” Blackburn's move also “echoes Spanish giants Barcelona," whose shirts bore the Unicef crest from '06-11. Docking notes it “was thought Rovers owners Venky’s India Ltd would seek a new lucrative deal with a major Indian firm, in line with their aim to raise the profile of the club in Asia.” The team wore Venky’s logo on shirts “in the recent Barclays Asia Trophy matches in Hong Kong.” Prince’s Trust “has strong links to East Lancashire working with hundreds of youngsters particularly in Blackburn and Burnley” (BLACKBURN CITIZEN, 8/11). The Rovers as part of the deal will “fundraise for the charity” (BBC.co.uk, 8/11). Rovers officials said that “they decided to reject commercial sponsorship offers to link up with the charity” (PA, 8/11).
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