General Footy Writing: It does get in

By Chris Riordan

On my first visit to Scotland I was under instructions to purchase a Celtic top. Naively, I was amazed that a top with sponsors’ logos all over the front should cost more than the “pure shirt”.

“Am I paying to be a billboard?” I objected (a Scottish response if you think about it.

Subsequently, often subliminally, I’ve often been seduced by the main sponsor. I haven’t knowingly bought something due to this exposure, but apparently it’s all about product awareness.

Man U will forever be “SHARP”, Liverpool “Carlsberg” and Tottenham “Holsten” in my soccer memory.

And now, after a generation of influence in our game, I realise that some indelible associations have been made.

Off the cuff, here’s my list:






FREO: ???




NORTH: Courage

PORT: Scott’s



ST KILDA: SnowDeli

WEST COAST: Hungry Jack’s (honourable mention to Messages on Hold)



  1. pauldaffey says


    A few more:

    Essendon: Don Smallgoods (cheesy 80s link for the Dons)
    Hawthorn: Wynvale (on the neck roll of Don Scott’s white skivvy)
    Richmond: Tetley (Tom Hafey-inspired, I presume)

    The strongest one would have to be Collingwood and Yakka. And for some reason I feel quite affectionate about North and Courage. I can still see that silly rooster. It speaks to me of an exciting footy era.

  2. I love how some of the sponsor associations stick. In the mid-80s I worked in a pub straight behind Stamford Bridge. We had a pretty downtrodden clientele. One fairly young, chubby and affable fellow, Keith (always “Keef”)was a semi-regular. Without fail he’d be wearing his Spurs shirt- this, in a less glamorous era of English football.
    “Al-wight?” he’d greet.
    Then I’d pose the tough question.
    “What’ll it be Keef?”
    He’d frown, scratch, pause interminably whilst I stared at his shirt, wondering if he could read upside-down.
    An age later, without fail, he’d have a brainstorm and declare,
    “I fink I’ll ‘ave an ‘olsten fanks Chris!”

    To some Tottenham evokes Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa.
    To me, its always Keef and an ‘olsten.

  3. The socceroos have become “The QANTAS Socceroos”, especially with people like Simon Hill…
    From a younger generation, I think of Collingwood as Wizard, Bullgogs as Leaseplan and StKilda as Pura Milk.

  4. Good on you Tommy.
    And don’t forget the Barclays Premier League.

  5. Damian Watson says

    Fitzroy always had Quitline
    Didn’t Fremantle have Yakka for a while in the 90’s?

  6. Couln’t picture anything, but I think that is right. They tried to be very working class whilst Neesham had them playing a hands-off brand of footy!

  7. Rick Kane says

    When talking about sports and sponsorship should mention Barcelona FC.

    Here is info from wikipedia: “Barça has an attitude to shirt sponsorship that is historically noteworthy. It has continuously refused to advertise corporate sponsors on the shirt since its founding (1899). On 14 July 2006, the club announced a five year agreement with UNICEF, which includes having the UNICEF logo on their shirts. The agreement will see Barça donating US$1.9 million per year to UNICEF (0.7 per cent of its ordinary income, equal to the UN International Aid Target, cf. ODA) via the FC Barcelona Foundation, and rejecting significant money offers to be the first shirt sponsor of the football team.”

    Oh, and just to put them into perspective for Australia, “Barcelona is the most popular football club in Europe with around 44.2 million fans. With 156,366 socis (members) in June 2007, the Catalan club is also placed among the top football clubs in the world with the most registered members”.

  8. One of the few redeeming features of Brisbane over the years has been their spurning of XXXX in favour of sponsorship by CUB. Think Freo might have had LG as a sponsor at some stage as well as Melbourne. Reckon the Dees had Drake on board during the 80’s?

  9. Ian Syson says

    A friend of mine long ago called the Canberra Raiders the ‘Woodgers’ after their sponsors and it has stuck in my mind. Now of course they’re sponsored by the CFMEU. The Dragons’ PENFOLDS top was appropriate for a good red that always left you wanting more.

  10. Ian,
    Canberra were always MILK in my mind (and Cronulla RONSON)

  11. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Fitzroy had ‘Quit’ while St.Kilda had ‘Philip Morris’ yet it was the Roys who often ran out of puff.

    Collingwood had ‘Mini Skips’, often had to endure rubbish jokes. South Melbourne had ‘Just Jeans’,Richmond had ‘CUB’ first, North had ‘Ansett’, Melbourne had ‘Mayne-Nickless’and ‘Drake’.

    But it was the Roys who seemed to have a new sponsor every year. Some I remember include: ‘Amco’, ‘Cleanaway’ and ‘Nandos’spaghetti.

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