When Fabian Delph leads the Claret and Blues out on the opening day in August, there’ll be something different on his chest.
That’s because after two years of sponsorship, Dafabet and Aston Villa will go their own ways, with the two-year contract running its course.
"In terms of our sponsorship with Villa, it was a two-year deal that ran its course," Dafabet’s head of marketing said in an interview with TotalGaming.com.
However, unlike with past sponsors like Genting or FxPro, both of whom don’t sponsor major clubs at the moment, that doesn’t mean Dafabet is getting out of the football business; they signed a deal with Blackburn Rovers last month and will have their logo adorning Sunderland’s kits next year.
Given the transitional period the club finds itself in, it’s fitting to have a change in commercial partner.
And while you never particularly like losing sponsorship, as Robert pointed out two years ago when this deal was signed, it really wasn’t a good one for the club, as the Dafabet sponsorship only netted the club £5 million per year, which was a £3 million drop from the Genting deal that preceded it.
In a world where Premier League revenues and exposure are rising, there’s no reason to believe Villa CEO Tom Fox won’t be able to find the club a better deal. He’ll have the recent run to the FA Cup Final to play off of, as well as the buzz that surrounds any club managed by Tim Sherwood.
While supporters can go back and forth on the merits of the Englishman on the touchline, it’s hard to contest he gets the club a lot more publicity than it enjoyed under Paul Lambert. That should go to good use this summer, as well as next.
Next summer, of course, should see Villa get a new kit manufacturer after the deal with Macron runs its course. The club and the Italian sportswear provider signed a four-year deal in 2012, and assuming Fox isn’t keen to buy out the rest of the £15 million contract, they’ll be the ones tasked with designing and producing Villa’s shirt in Sherwood’s first full season at the club.
Despite the Twitter chatter, I wouldn’t expect Villa to walk away from Macron unless a new-wave manufacturer — Under Armour was rumoured — comes in with a big bid.
A successful 2015/16 campaign could go a long way for the club in increasing revenues on and off the pitch, something Fox did keenly at the Emirates Stadium.
And while I’m sure we’d all love Acorns to return, I don’t think it’s particularly likely given Fox’s background — the club won’t want to walk away from that much revenue.
Likely down to a delay in finding a new commercial sponsor, the club have not yet released a date for the kit launch.
Whose logo might you want to see adorn Villa’s kit next year? Let us know if you have a good shout in the comments!