Paddy Power launches ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign

Flutter Entertainment brand Paddy Power has launched a new campaign urging betting operators to stop sponsoring football shirts. The ‘Save Our Shirt’ initiative highlights how in the 2019-20 football season, over half the teams in England’s top two divisions will be sponsored by a bookmaker.

The campaign was unveiled after Paddy Power drew criticism over its new commercial deal with English Championship team Huddersfield Town, with much of this directed at the size of the logo on the front of the team’s shirts.

Fans had suspected the move was a hoax, but after the team wore the branded shirt in a pre-season friendly with Rochdale, the English Football Association (FA) contacted Huddersfield over concerns the deal breached its guidelines in terms of shirt sponsorship.

However, Paddy Power has now revealed the move was a stunt to promote its new campaign, with the aim highlighting the issues around shirt sponsorship. The company’s logo will be absent from players’ shirts as it seeks to encourage other bookmakers and gambling operators to follow suit.

“Shirt sponsorship in football has gone too far; we accept that there is a role for sponsors around football, but the shirt should be sacred,” said Paddy Power’s marketing director Victor Corcoran.

As part of the campaign, Paddy Power is setting up a ‘shirt amnesty’ on August 5th, Huddersfield Town’s first game of the season, where the operator will give out 500 unbranded club jerseys, in exchange for older, branded versions.

The company has also agreed to a similar deal with Scottish Premier League football club Motherwell, who will join the ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign. Paddy Power will serve as Motherwell’s title sponsor for the 19-20 season, but its logo will not appear on players’ shirts – in line with the new initiative. Despite the lack of shirt branding, Motherwell said the deal represents the largest jersey sponsorship in the club’s history.

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