Liverpool Jerseys and Ferrari Cars: A Cultural and Business Time Capsule

Summary:

*Football jerseys and formula 1 cars provide a time capsule of advertising trends.

*The trends tell us about cultural norms (what ads are accepted) and also about what industries had money to spend on ads.

*Very roughly, football moved through periods of electronics advertisers, through to alcohol, through to financial services from the 1980s to the present time.

Advertising:

It’s interesting to look at the types of business sponsoring sports teams over time – both from a cultural and a business standpoint. From a cultural standpoint, advertising tells us something about what’s allowed or banned at a given time, e.g. cigarettes or alcohol. From a business standpoint, advertising tells something about what companies get the highest return from reaching a large audience.

The pre-sponsorship era:

The last jersey I see on footballkitarchive.com without sponsorship (except for the shirt maker, Umbro) is the 1976/77 season:

Liverpool Jersey 1976/77

The last Ferrari F1 car I can see without sponsorship on motorsport.com is the 1967/68 car:

1967-1968: Ferrari 312/67
Ferarri 1967/68

Into the 1980s

Here’s the 1988 Liverpool jersey, sponsored now by home appliance maker Candy:

1988 Liverpool jersey

Home appliance and electronics sponsors were hot in the late 1980s. Here is the 1988 Arsenal jersey:

1988 Arsenal Jersey

By the 1980s, the Ferrari is plastered in advertisements, notably from Goodyear (a tire supplier), but also from Longines (luxury watches) – reflecting the demographic of at least some F1 fans.

1985: Ferrari 156/85
1985 Ferarri

1990s and early 2000s

Companies went heavy on the alcohol and cigarettes in the 90s. Here’s an iconic Liverpool jersey from 1995/96:

1995/6 Liverpool jersey

Leeds United in 1996 were still on the electronics train with Packard Bell:

1996 Leeds Jersey

But Leeds had caught up to the alcohol trend by 2000, with this iconic Strongbow cider sponsorship:

2000/1 Leeds Jersey

And here’s one of the iconic Marlboro cigarette sponsorships of Ferari in 1995:

1995: Ferrari 412T2
1995 Ferrari

And here’s the 2005 Ferrari – 10 years later and not all that different at first glance:

2004: Ferrari F2004
2005 Ferrari

Late 2000s and 2010s

Even up as far as 2009/10, Liverpool are going strong with the Carlsberg sponsorship with this goalkeeper’s away jersey:

2009/10 Goalkeeper Liverpool Away Jersey

The move to financial services sponsorships is on the way, and here’s the 2015 Ferrari:

2015: Ferrari SF-15T
2015 Ferrari with Santander Bank

Liverpool also go to financial services with Standard Chartered:

Liverpool 2015/16 Jersey (a nice tailored fit!)

Today – 2021

And here we are with the latest cars and jerseys of today:

Liverpool 2021 Jersey
2020: Ferrari SF1000
2020 Ferrari (except a redesign in 2021)

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