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


*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 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 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)

1 thought on “Liverpool Jerseys and Ferrari Cars: A Cultural and Business Time Capsule”

  1. You’re absolutely right that advertising can be like stepping into a time machine. Even looking at the way we did things two years ago versus today in a pandemic setting is mindblowing. I’m near the end of my career as an ad executive, but seeing how marketing agencies like Ashworth Creative have leaned into the digitalscape even before the pandemic makes me wonder where the field will be in the next five years.

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