Football’s most iconic shirt sponsors

Enough with this junkyard sponsor business. It must end, for all that is good with the game.

The majority of football fans are in the camp as all sponsors destroy shirts. But the truth is that the best sponsors complete a shirt, and we have plenty of examples to back it up.

Drop your forehead partnerships and forget about the hundreds of different betting companies. 90min has compiled football’s 30 most iconic shirt sponsors.

Immediately recognizable / Catherine Ivill / Getty Images

Sitting in front of and at the center of Bayern Munich since 2002, T-Mobile looks subtle, stylish and unique in an era of endless gaming companies and other unrecognizable mega-companies.

Master’s sponsor. No, it is not much appreciated and no, it is not as good as its predecessor, but it passes the test of time and would be very difficult to replace.

What time / Bryn Lennon / Getty Images

In the early 2000s, Bolton under Sam Allardyce, Barclays vibes. What more can you ask for?

Worn by Jay-Jay Okocha and Youri Djorkaeff when Big Sam’s boys defied the odds, Reebok was primarily and centered in Barclays through the early 2000s and rocked well. Your indieson will love it in a few years.

He’s seen a ghost / Gallo Images / Getty Images

A little sure, maybe even a touch boring. But when Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona went up in their Unicef-backed kit, you were in trouble.

A young yet magical Lionel Messi who overshadows an infinitely entertaining Ronaldinho just scratches the surface. You hate that you love it.

Martin Palermo for Boca / El Grafico / Getty Images

The first of two Boca Juniors shirt sponsors on the list, Quilmes looked incredibly unique with its sleek typography on their striking blue and yellow.

With Boca sitting in South America, it’s never a shirt that gets enough love. However, this was bob on. Perfect for festivals.

Clean / Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

Like Barcelona with Unicef, Manchester United who donated AIG from 2006 to 2010 was not the most exceptional, but you knew what you got.

Fergie controlled the clock, the bald Wayne Rooney came loose as a top Sabu and Cristiano Ronaldo at his glittering best at the audition for the Santiago Bernabeu. This version of United was a joke.

How about a fight with kit sponsors? / Etsuo Hara / Getty Images

Is it subtle? No. Does the shirt really fit that much? Not really. But that’s the beauty of it.

These Borussia Dortmund kits in the mid-1990s were so unapologetically nineties, it was brilliant. Neon yellow with the large cuffed shoulders and unique design; Die Continentale front and center tied it all together and made them really stand out.

Ginola gets rough up / ADRIAN DENNIS / Getty Images

Seriously underrated sponsor, this.

With a classic yet modern adidas template and a long-haired David Ginola floating around on the pitch and looking, Tottenham looked better than ever in their Holstein-sponsored kit, especially in the late 90s and early 2000s. Not to forget the first spell either.

Djibril Cisse looks great / FRED DUFOUR / Getty Images

Take back game sponsors. Unbeaten.

AJ Auxerre in France donned an iconic Combat Fit Kappa shirt sponsored by Playstation 2. Sponsored by one of the largest game consoles ever. It’s wonderful and increasingly niche. We deserved more from this.

Don Diego / Franco Origlia / Getty Images

Sponsored by Naples from 1988 to 1991, a secular site that featured Diego Maradona was backed by probably the largest chocolate available.

The Argentine superstar who lives on the pitch in the iconic sky blue, before relaxing and refreshing at half time with God’s biggest chocolate cake and, yes, we let you assume the rest. Royalty.

And young Carlos Tevez / DANIEL GARCIA / Getty Images

Poca’s Quilmes sponsor looked Boca Juniors even better and dropped Pepsi on his chest.

The futuristic, boxy format of these colors was refreshing and has passed the test of time massively if you are looking for a retro shirt. Seriously overlooked.

Clarence Seedorf looks sharp / Clive Mason / Getty Images

For eight years until the 1990s, the home-decorating giants were the face of Los Blancos.

Teka supported Real Madrid in the time before Galactico and complemented some pretty cool kits to give them the perfect dot. Imagine Raul tearing it up for his boyfriend’s club. Class.

Di Canio with his magnificent hind legs and West Ham kit / Stu Forster / Getty Images

A seriously unique entry, even for its time, has matched West Ham’s partnership with Doc Martens from 1998 to 2003.

Paolo Di Canio and a young Frank Lampard who strikes out for Irons, this is a real collector’s item. More shoe sponsors are needed in football. Plus five indie points if you own one of these, by the way.

Juventus love a pink kit / Marco Luzzani / Getty Images

Jeep never stood out as iconic on Juventus shirts, but it really deserves praise in a time of increasingly ugly sponsors.

It remains simple, subtle and effective to complement the shirt. Also looked incredible on their pink away kit 2015/16 and sat in front and in the middle of their collaboration with the streetwear brand Palace.

A colorful team photo / Getty Images / Getty Images

Parmalat spread across the chest with cultural icons Parma in the late 90’s and went through the huge peaks and crushing declines of Parma’s rise and fall.

Before the company’s crash in 2003, however, Parma was everyone’s favorite Italian side in the late 20th century and by and large. They were really cool.

Emirates looks at home at Real Madrid-white / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

While Emirates has never been the most exciting or excellent sponsor of a shirt, it has always been around the top clubs – and Arsenal – and never made a kit look less excellent.

Think Milan, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain in the early 2010s. Each Emirates kit oozes class and has always been at the center of football’s greatest memories of modern times. Los Blancos swept up the Champions League with it.

Very few sponsors look like this / VI-Images / Getty Images

Unique to Ajax, the Dutch banking company still looks like nothing else, not even today.

Nowadays, it sponsors Ajax’s women and youth departments, but from 1991 to 2008, the Amsterdam side balled out with the subtle, stylish vertical type of company that drove down its already smart strip.

Paolo Maldini chases the ball / Etsuo Hara / Getty Images

Car manufacturers are something of a dying race on the front of football shirts today. That being said, it’s mostly outside gaming companies that no one has heard of.

Opel sat on the front of Milan’s red and black while a young Kaka struck out in the Champions League, and Paolo Maldini took the name with the ultimate style. Seriously underrated, always incredible.

Freddie Ljungberg in the dreamcast set / Mike Hewitt / Getty Images

The four blocked letters on the Arsenal chest between the JVC and the O2 era were quite unique.

With an advertisement for “Dreamcast” on the home jersey, Arsenal had SEGA away. The home was elegant and modernized when it liked young people. Gone was more ruthless, with SEGA’s excellent lettering on the iconic yellow color.

A Hell of a Kit / Shaun Botterill / Getty Images

Sponsoring the blue half of Manchester in the 90’s, Brother was mainly and centered on some pretty cool Manchester City shirts.

However, they reached new levels of iconic, as Oasis began rocking them on their way to becoming almost the biggest band on the planet. Worldwide.

It’s a Prison / Etsuo Hara / Getty Images

One that goes under the radar a bit, Bwin sponsored both Real Madrid and Milan in the late 2000s and contributed to some of the finest kits in Europe.

While Ronaldinho and David Beckham took on the sponsorship with Rossoneri, Kaka had moved to Madrid and stood alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in Real’s iconic white, with Bwin deserving of a place.

A New Era / PAUL ELLIS / Getty Images

United had a tough job finding a sponsor who could replace Sharp and still do them justice in 2000. Vodafone did just that.

Out with the old, in with the new. It gave Sir Alex Ferguson’s side a modernized look. Imagine Ruud van Nistelrooy destroying penalty boxes and a young Wayne Rooney pinching beyond defenders and rambling worlds fearless.

Underrated / VI-Images / Getty Images

Simple bold text and some incredibly tailored shirt designs that fit with it. The 1980s and 90s were a serious golden era for football betting.

JVC was perfect on the Arsenal shirt. It did not exceed its welcome, but it was not too small and putty either. The bold text complemented their block color styles and gave them an extra edge.

R9 in PSV colors / Alessandro Sabattini / Getty Images

PSV Eindhoven stuck to Philips as the main shirt sponsor from the 1982 introduction to Dutch football, until 2016.

It is a heroic feat that deserves its own credit. The two now go hand in hand as a result and made into some seriously striking kits over the decades. Van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo and Ruud Gullit have all taken on Philips kits.

Simple yet effective / David Rogers / Getty Images

Visions of a top Thierry Henry who goes drunk Sophie Ellis-Bexter at Barclays in this one. Arsenal invincible.

Pair this with some black gloves and over the knee socks, and everyone at the five cages will be afraid to be rinsed off by you for an hour. Arsenal’s O2 era was unforgettable.

Gerrard in that kit and the predators, the world hit / Etsuo Hara / Getty Images

Oh, Barclays. The sweet, sweet Barclays.

Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool on the hunt with Steven Gerrard making thunderstorms and Fernando Torres losing for fun while being hated by almost all other top sides. Has there been a nicer font in the Premier League since? Maybe not.

Colors, template, sponsor, everything knocks / Ben Radford / Getty Images

Ironically, there is some real aesthetic dissatisfaction and quite shaking with the Brown Ale sponsor on the 90s Newcastle jerseys.

But at the same time you are a fool if you do not think they are completely cash office. They completed an already huge adidas template, which kept things striking and unique, while being a local sponsor. Class.

Zanetti is a cool man / Jasper Juinen / Getty Images

At a similar level as the PSV / Philips alliance, Pirelli’s time with Inter as the main shirt sponsor was, for a 26-year period from 1995 to 2021.

While their rival rivals have had to change sponsors, Inter have always been recognizable with Pirelli, who have given football one of the best-looking sponsor designs imaginable. Milito, Eto’o, Zanetti, all balls out as treble winners who donate the tire company.

A short but sweet sponsorship / Dan Smith / Getty Images

Before Liverpool joined Barclays with the beer sponsor, they dominated English football in the 1970s and 80s.

But in the late 80’s they did it at the top of their style. Short shorts and binders combined with the incredibly unique Candy sponsor, which wraps around the middle of some of adidas’ largest vintage shirts.

Sharp was a perfect fit for United / Anton Want / Getty Images

The sponsor in the 80s and 90s. Sharp electronics supported United during the 80’s climb and 90’s boom and never looked out of place when the Red Devils climbed to the top of the mountain.

Whether it’s “Sharp Viewcam” on their black gone 1993/95, the black logo on the green and gold 1992/93 or the true white when they won the treble, Sharp always looked huge. Fans would love it back.

The clear winner is Nintendo / Getty Images / Getty Images

There’s a winner, and it’s the ultimate collector’s piece for football shirt enthusiasts. And those who want to impress at the festival.

Produced by Fila and sponsored by Nintendo, Fiorentina’s purple home kit reached unimaginable heights in 1998/99 thanks to its sponsor. There has been no such thing. Gabriel Batistuta bags in the name of Super Mario Bros. Yes thank you.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More