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Let's drink to the Old Firm sponsorship deal

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Jim Spence | 17:25 UK time, Thursday, 4 February 2010

Non Old Firm fans now know every time they drink a certain lager they're helping to ensure the continued dominance of the pair against their own sides. Such is the Faustian pact that Scottish football fans make when they quench their thirst.

On a serious note though, the sponsorship deal for Celtic and Rangers is a good one for them and hopefully for Scottish football as a whole.

Increasingly, sponsorship is the lifeblood of our game. Clubs would wither and die without the big and the small businesses who put their cash into the deals which then enable top players to be signed and retained.

It also indicates that hard-nosed business people recognise that there is life in the Scottish game yet, at a stage when some people are fearful for the future.

oldfirm595.jpgAnd when a major company puts its money into the game it encourages other businesses to do likewise.

The Scottish game needs to market itself better, and address other issues such as league size and the time of year we actually play. But first and foremost it needs cash and the deal the Old Firm are currently toasting is good business.

Some will be concerned at the relationship between alcohol and sport, given the inability of many Scots to drink responsibly, but football should not be singled out when it comes to making that judgement call.

Drink is a fact of life, and if the industry is putting much needed money into our national game then the positives outweigh the negatives.

So cheers to the new sponsorship, with a bit of luck the money will trickle down throughout the game when the Old Firm, as is their want, buy up good Scottish footballers from other clubs, frustrating their fans but cheering their chairmen.

Given though that competition, like a certain Irish stout, is said to be good for us, it's a pity that Celtic hadn't concluded the Robbie Keane deal sooner, otherwise we might have had a bidding war with the name of that well-known dark nectar appearing on the strips instead of the amber one, meaning even more money going into the coffers of the Old Firm.

Now who wouldn't drink to that?

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    strange - a whole article about the old firm jim. i was under the impression your articles were NOT mean to be about the old firm?

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Jim,
    Isn't "if the industry is putting much needed money into our national game then the positives outweigh the negatives" taking a pretty narrow, or even uninformed, view of societal positives and negatives?
    There's a fair bit of research around that suggests that alcohol does more damage to society than all the other "illicit" drugs combined - and you've mentioned the Scottish propensity for of heavy drinking.
    Is it possible that the money spent on shirt sponsorships etc might actually be better spent on creating new jobs in Scotland?
    Oh and I love football. That's no the issue here.
    Cheers - so to speak.

  • Comment number 3.

    That's me off the Tennents, then!

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    @boomshakalak: you know that you have a choice when you go to the pub don't you? You don't have to drink watery p*ss if you do not wish to?
    I thought this article a little droll actually and pointless. "The Scottish game needs to market itself better, and address other issues such as league size and the time of year we actually play." Two very seperate issues that require lengthy debate which have been glossed over possibly to fill owrd count.


    http://bigmatchcentre.blogspot.com

  • Comment number 6.

    " 1. At 8:23pm on 04 Feb 2010, neil wrote:
    strange - a whole article about the old firm jim. i was under the impression your articles were NOT mean to be about the old firm? "


    Sorry Neil I was under the impression this was a blog about the importance of football sponsership and in this case the link between alcohol related sponsership and the footballing culture.

  • Comment number 7.

    I think you probably meant "as is their wont".

  • Comment number 8.

    of what Akrana2 wrote: "Is it possible that the money spent on shirt sponsorships etc might actually be better spent on creating new jobs in Scotland?" It is ideologically possible but not economically. Tennents Lager and Carling, infact most sponsors are businesses and cannot afford to take on the responsibilty of creating jobs that will not make them profit, thus increasing their lifespan as an employer in the first place.
    I agree wholeheartedly that money needs to be spent and invested but this is not the place we can criticise.
    And to alcohol doing more damage to society than other illicit drugs this is a massive discussion topic. Research is required into what percentage of the economy is made up of alcohol selling businesses and employment figures. Also include government spending of money brought in this way, on medical care and policing for alcohol related issues. I doubt very much the government (some representation of societies requirements) makes a financial loss on the existence of alcohol.
    And to anti-social behaviour and effect on private lives, an even larger discussion on human nature and whether or not lack of alcohol would just mean an increase in something else. I do not pretend for a minute that alcohol does not ruin lives and is of detrimental value to society on one level. But it simply cannot be compared with illicit substances that for one are not legal and two, for the most part have far further reaching medical costs and as a result of being illegal cause a boom in far more serious areas of crime.

  • Comment number 9.

    Big Match Centre, it's a blog not a treatise. The intention is not to put the world to rights in one go. I've dealt with issues such as a bigger league, summer football and so forth previously. So no I'm not filling in for word count, it's just my humble opinion on the deal struck by the Old Firm which gives much needed cash at a time when finances are tight. Nothing more nothing less.

  • Comment number 10.

    jim, just a thought... you say that this is a good deal for the OF... but we don't really know that, do we? considering the state of the world economy and even worse, the state of scottish football, chances are, in fact, that this is a good deal for tennents. by that, i mean they were proabbly able to get the sponsorship deal at a relative bargain. what do you think?

  • Comment number 11.

    camp6ell, I suspect, given the state of the economy as you rightly point out, it's probably the best deal on offer. I doubt if there were higher bidders so the Old Firm have presumably taken the best deal they could get. Your house is only worth what someone will pay you for it not what the estate agent tells you its worth.

  • Comment number 12.

    Jim, what do you believe, the future holds for Television deals? How, if at all, can this be improved?

  • Comment number 13.

    This might have been an interesting piece on a variety of issues: whether we really want to link drugs (i.e. alcohol) and sport, or even further promote alcohol in a society where many adults simply drink to excess. Instead it just welcomes the cash for two clubs who get the vast bulk of whatever is going in Scottish football anyway. It will make little or not one jot of a difference to any of the others, or to Scottish football as a whole.

    As for Tennant's it allows them an advertising opportunity on ESPN and Sky every two weeks..cheap as chips!..and if they can get the kids wearing the 'T' jerseys even better.

    As for the contributor who thinks you cannot compare illegal and legal drugs, this is sadly naive. You should bear in mind that dealing with the effects of alcohol abuse amounts to 10% of the entire annual Scottish Government budget. Don't see the brewers picking up the tab for that do you!?!

    Have another drink!!

  • Comment number 14.

    The deal is much the same as the previous one. Carling's worked out at £1.8m and the new on is £1.5m per club per year (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_prem/4703197.stm%29 which is proably better than you might expect considering the differing economic situation between now and 2005, especially in terms of finances in the SPL.

    Maybe there is hope yet

  • Comment number 15.

    "Drink is a fact of life, and if the industry is putting much needed money into our national game then the positives outweigh the negatives."

    Sorry, but I think you'll need to put a lot more thought into this line. Disorderly behaviour causing massive strain on the NHS week-in week-out, contributing to Scotland's chronic heart & liver disease instances and seen by experts as a more dangerous drug than cannabis and ecstasy is made all ok because Tennent's are funding the Old Firm.

    If that's the case, surely we should welcome cigarette sponsorship to the game?

    Furthermore, I wouldn't call this deal good for Scottish football, it's good for the Old Firm. The fact that the SFA have lost the funding it gets from Tennent's is lamentable because that money will either stay with the two clubs or be blown away in England and Europe's more obscure leagues.

    Och well, maybe the SFA can get sponsorship from British American Tobacco. OK, the connotations are there with lung and skin cancer deaths but at least it means the next boozing session at Cameron House will be covered...

  • Comment number 16.

    blkwtchbosch, Without a crystal ball I'm not sure, but it would be good to see a concerted drive to get more fans into the grounds. Half empty stadia look terrible and give a poor impression of the game to tv viewers, which may make broadcasters think harder about whether what they're showing is attractive enough to their subscribers.

    I don't see TV deals improving next time around unless there is an improvement in how the "Product" (hate that word) is perceived

  • Comment number 17.

    Fairly bland stuff Jim with nothing really of note. We all know football needs sponsors, Celtic and Rangers have the brand name to attract reasonable sponsorship and some of that money will trickle out of the old firm to the other clubs.

    Unfortunately there's 10-15% less to trickle out each year than previously and of Rangers £1.5m/year how much do you think is going to be going round the other teams in the next 12 months??

    Your blog strikes a note of optimism that I unfortunately don't share!

  • Comment number 18.

    Jim after maybe condemning the blog a little I agree whole-heartedly with your comment 16.

    That is the core of the problem though, catch 22 there. If product doesn't improve you won't get the punters in and hence you can't get the increased revenues (gate & sponsorship) to improve the product?

    Would suggest that last cycle kicked off with Mr Murray investing millions in late 80s to improve the product and the whole profile of Scottish football was lifted and allowed/forced other clubs to follow suit. Unfortunately most of it was done with money they didn't have!

    Do we realistically expect or want to see this happen again? I think Scottish football needs to be realistic as to it's level and more important just now than improving the profile at the top level is improving the quality of the next generation of footballers. If this deal helps that then great but I can't see it happening anytime soon....

  • Comment number 19.

    Spencie

    You've got this way wrong.

    I don't mind other teams buying my club's players as long as its not the OF.

    No chance of me quenching my thirst with Tennents.

    The OF do not give a toss about other clubs when they make their sponsorship deals so I'm of the view that as long as the OF keep on the decline that money will be coming the way of other clubs before too long anyway.

  • Comment number 20.

    Mocko 500, disorderly behaviour due to drink is surely an educational issue. Alcohol is not an illegal substance, the problem is how people handle it.Many more handle it sensibly than do not. Obesity and general lack of fitnes are also putting strain on the NHS. Do you suggest we make healthy eating, dieting and fitness classes compulsory.

    I also said "hopefully" it would be a good deal for Scottish football not that it would be. That depends on whether the Old Firm spend in Scotland. Not something that pleases me as a non OF supporter, but they've been buying up other teams players for ever and it's unlikely to stop any time soon.

    Maybe you should ask why the te SFA lost the Tennents sponsorship instead of blaming the OF for winning it. Their job is to look after themselves not the wider game, and it's something they excel at.

  • Comment number 21.

    Jim,

    I've always found it hard to square the circle when it comes to sponsorship from companies involved in the drinks business, but your answer to earlier posts makes it crystal clear - you are quite right, there is no issue.

    The two things are entirely separate and what we need is a good dose of pragmitism and common sense.

    Good to see you answering those questions. It really does make a difference.

  • Comment number 22.

    Roberto calico, Roberto, I think you need to read the blog again,a bit more deeply.

  • Comment number 23.

    Half empty stadia look terrible and give a poor impression of the game to tv viewers, which may make broadcasters think harder about whether what they're showing is attractive enough to their subscribers.


    Let's be honest, people only want to see the old firm, and the old firm game are always have the biggest attendance, so just show old firm games...

 

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