*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.
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:
The last Ferrari F1 car I can see without sponsorship on motorsport.com is the 1967/68 car:
Into the 1980s
Here’s the 1988 Liverpool jersey, sponsored now by home appliance maker Candy:
Home appliance and electronics sponsors were hot in the late 1980s. Here is the 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.
1990s and early 2000s
Companies went heavy on the alcohol and cigarettes in the 90s. Here’s an iconic Liverpool jersey from 1995/96:
Leeds United in 1996 were still on the electronics train with Packard Bell:
But Leeds had caught up to the alcohol trend by 2000, with this iconic Strongbow cider sponsorship:
And here’s one of the iconic Marlboro cigarette sponsorships of Ferari in 1995:
And here’s the 2005 Ferrari – 10 years later and not all that different at first glance:
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:
The move to financial services sponsorships is on the way, and here’s the 2015 Ferrari:
Liverpool also go to financial services with Standard Chartered:
Today – 2021
And here we are with the latest cars and jerseys of today: