Celtic held a press conference this Wednesday afternoon to announce that the club had secured a new sponsorship deal with alcoholic beverage giants Magners. Tam Payne reports on Celtic splitting away from their long-standing joint sponsorship with rivals Rangers to go it alone.
Celtic have revealed that they have secured a three-year long shirt sponsorship deal with the Irish drinks giants. Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell revealed that the exclusive deal offers Magners the opportunity to display their logo on the famous green and white hoops from the start of the 2013/2014 season.
Lawwell revealed the deal through Celtic’s official club website by stating: “This partnership is magnificent news, not only for Celtic but also for Scottish football. We are proud to be successfully leading Scottish football at home and in Europe.”
The chief executive also added: “The desire of a brand with Magners’ stature to support the club is a measure of how much positivity there is around Celtic in our 125th year. I look forward to a long and successful partnership with Magners and I’m sure every Celtic fan will welcome their support.”
It is yet another positive development in what has already been a very good year for Scottish football’s only representative on the global market. With Celtic’s almost surreal run of success in the world’s elite club competition capturing the imagination of millions of football fans around the globe, it was almost inevitable that the securing of a shirt sponsor would be little more than a formality.
With Celtic placing themselves among the elite 16 clubs in Europe this season, they have exposed themselves to a whole new generation of international fans who have been struck down with a severe bout of “Celtic Fever”. It is testament to the newly rejuvenated global appeal of Celtic that an international drinks giant, unable to have their logo displayed in the Champions League, would invest willingly with the sole aim of being associated with Celtic.
This deal is positive not only for Celtic and Magners but will also offer encouragement to the Scottish football authorities that – as long as Celtic are present in Scottish football – there will remain international interest in our domestic product. Scottish football authorities have the ability to “feed-off” Celtic’s international appeal at the moment and it can only strengthen their own hand with regard to sponsorship negotiations.
With Celtic’s unchallenged dominance of Scotland’s top flight over the next few years leading to repeated exposure to the global market (through the UEFA Champions League) it looks like the only way is up for the sole Champions League level club in Scotland.
The global television viewing figures for Celtic’s 2-1 victory over Barcelona are simply astonishing to behold. The very strong possibility that more people will have watched Celtic’s televised Champions League games by the end of this season than all the televised Scottish football games combined goes to show the importance of capitalising on Celtic’s Champions League presence.
If the governing bodies can properly tap into Celtic’s regular participation in the Champions League then they can promote our game to an international audience. Large crowds in our bottom tier are a nice sideshow but the Champions League is the over-flowing well that international footballing customers sip from and it is for that reason that the Scottish footballing authorities should be grateful for Celtic’s presence in Scotland.
Magners is a growing brand with international aspirations and a desire to expose their positive image and history to the global marketplace. The marketing union with Celtic is of symbiotic benefit to both. Hopefully, the Scottish footballing community will also come to realise what a valuable commodity Celtic Football Club are to Scotland.
The sponsorship deal may bring millions in revenue to Celtic from Magners, but what Magners will gain from this deal is a link to a famous footballing club, one of the most renowned companies in sport, the chance to capitalise on a relationship with a club boasting 125 years of footballing success and with 125 years of corporate experience along with it.
I’m sure Magners will appreciate that money cannot buy history and this can only be a positive partnership for both companies.