How it started: Newly promoted to the Premier League Norwich City announced BK8 Sports as its main partner for the 2021-22 season. Under the agreement the BK8 logo will be featured in the front of both City’s first team match and training kits for the new season.
Everyone involved was happy, just like Norwich City’s Chief Operating Officer Ben Kensell who commented on the agreement: “We’re delighted to welcome BK8 as our new principal partner. It is excellent that they see the value in working with Norwich City. BK8 will undoubtedly be a new brand for City fans, however, they’re a well trusted name across Asia. The Premier League has an accumulative TV audience of over three billion and is broadcast into over a billion homes – a huge proportion of these Premier League fans are based in Asia.
Norwich City legend Darren Eadie who joined BK8 as the brand spokesperson added: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with one of the most driven and forward-thinking teams in English football. We’re all really looking forward to the season ahead with Norwich City back where they belong, in the top-flight.”
How it went: The deal was canceled since fans found out that social media marketing campaigns published across BK8’s channels was “secually provocative”. So, Norwich City announced that “The club and BK8 have taken on board feedback from its supporters and partners, and after continued discussions we have agreed to immediately end the partnership”. At the same time Ben Kensell explained: “We have worked hard to build trust and engagement through our countless initiatives with our supporters and partners. We place huge value on our open and honest relationships with our community and supporters.
As a self-financed club there is always a fine balance between generating the revenue levels required to help maintain that model, whilst working within our visions and values. On this occasion, we made an error of judgement. Our standards were not at the levels we demand of our football club.
We can now only apologise to our supporters and former players, Grant Holt and Darren Eadie, who were across the BK8 promotional launch campaign, for any offence caused. We remain highly committed to diversity and equality across our football club and its community. We want to continue to embed a highly inclusive culture across the club, together with an accessible and welcoming environment free of demeaning and discriminatory behaviours.”