Cadbury expands Premier League portfolio with Liverpool sponsorship
Mondelēz International, the USA-based snack company, has increased its presence in English soccer’s Premier League after agreeing a new sponsorship deal with reigning champions Liverpool.
The three-year deal makes Mondelēz subsidiary Cadbury the club’s official chocolate brand.
As part of the tie-up, it will support LFC Foundation’s Virtual Employability Programme, which raises money to assist people across the Liverpool City Region who have been made redundant or are at risk due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
To launch the partnership, Cadbury has provided 50,000 limited edition champions Dairy Milk bars to fans to thank them for their continued support last season. The bars will be available to buy in official club stores, with all proceeds going to the programme.
Matt Scammell, commercial director at Liverpool FC, said: “LFC and Cadbury are both passionate about the importance of community so this is a great opportunity to build on those common values and help those whose employment has been impacted by the pandemic into new roles.”
Samantha Greenwood, global brand director at Cadbury, said: “The Virtual Employability Programme will make a huge difference to the people of Liverpool whose jobs and prospects have been impacted by the pandemic. By supporting this, we hope we can do our part to help the economic recovery of the area and the UK as a whole.”
Ahead of the 2020-21 Premier League season, which starts on Saturday, Cadbury had already agreed deals with Premier League rivals Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
Cadbury was an official sponsor of the Premier League in a deal running until the end of the 2019-20 season, which marked its first foray into soccer.
Meanwhile, Vitality, the UK health and life insurance company, has today announced new partnerships with six English soccer clubs covering both men's and women's teams.
The agreements take in AFC Bournemouth Women, Crystal Palace's men and women, Leeds United's men and women, Leicester City Women’s FC, Newcastle United Women and Southampton's men and women.
Vitality already has commercial partnerships with the men’s teams of Bournemouth, Leicester City and Newcastle United, Chelsea’s men and women and Cardiff City Women.
The tie-ups vary from club to club, and include shirt or short sponsorship and official wellness partnerships.
Neville Koopowitz, Vitality chief executive, said: “Today’s announcement affirms our commitment to the women’s game and our aspiration to inspire many more women and girls to get and stay physically active.
“By working with the clubs we hope to drive visibility of both the women and men’s team, showcasing this great sport and encouraging millions more people get active and play football, which is all in line with our core purpose to make people healthier and enhance and protect their lives.
In other developments, the Premier League's Southampton have taken legal action against their former shirt sponsor LD Sports over the early termination of the partnership.
Ahead of the 2019-20 season, the club signed a three-year contract with the Chinese media company worth £7.5 million ($9.9 million) per year, but it was terminated last month.
Early reports indicated the brand wished to walk away from the relationship due to political tensions between China and the UK, as well as investment concerns emanating from the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Southampton said they had been “left no alternative other than to end the partnership” immediately after failing to secure confirmation that the sponsor was “still an appropriate and viable partner for the club.”
The club has already signed a one-year agreement with bitcoin sports betting website Sportsbet.io, which will see its logo appear on the front of the first team and under-23 team shirts in the 2020-21 season.
Martin Semmens, Southampton’s chief executive, told The Athletic: “[Legal action] is not being considered, it’s already taken. It’s something we have to do. We have commitments, they have commitments, and everybody else around us has followed through on their commitments. We expect them to do the same.
“We will continue pursuing them and find a solution that will help our club out, but we feel that will take months and not weeks. It’s important for our fans to know that we will pursue them to the end of the Earth until we get our money back but for this season, it was important that we found the right sponsor so we can move forward.”
LD had replaced Virgin Media, the UK and Ireland cable operator owned by US media giant Liberty Global, as Southampton’s main sponsor.
At the time of signing the deal with LD Sports, concerns were raised about the fact the company was yet to launch and its product offering was unknown.