Seven most iconic football shirt sponsors – from Jagermeister to Nintendo

Football shirts are important, and a sponsor can make or break a shirt when it comes to hall of fame status.

However, on some occasions, the sponsor can be as iconic as the design itself.

Think of Ole Gunnar Solskajer knocking down the 1999 Champions League final, and the Sharp on his chest is almost as iconic as his baby smile.

Some fans see sponsors as the main indicator of modern football, while others see them as a key ingredient of a good kit.

And with that in mind, Star Daily Sport takes a look at the seven most iconic football sponsors.


Batigol and Nintendo will always be linked

Serie A in the 1990s was brilliant.

And nothing is more typical of 1990s Serie A than Gabriel Batistuta rushing towards goal, dressed in purple, with Nintendo slapped on his stomach.

Even now, Fiorentina shirts – more so if they have Batistuta or Rui Costa on their backs – will fetch a pretty penny online.

Many football shirt collectors cite the 1998/99 Fiorentina jersey as their ‘holy grail’ alongside iconic stripes such as Germany’s 1990 World Cup shirt or Arsenal’s ‘bruised banana’ .

Who is your favorite jersey sponsor? Let us know in the “Comments” section

March – Napoli

Napoli won their last scudetto with Mars on the shirt
Napoli won their last scudetto with Mars on the shirt

Naples and Mars are iconic because of one man: Diego Armando Maradona.

With the candy bar front and center of their shirt, Maradona guided Napoli to their final scudetto in 1988 and a UEFA Cup triumph in 1989.

However, the star shone and quickly faded – 90/91 marked last year that Mars were Napoli’s main sponsor as Maradona was banned.

Mars hasn’t made a comeback in the jersey sponsor game since.

Sharp – Manchester United

Sharp has been associated with United for nearly 20 years
Sharp has been associated with United for nearly 20 years

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Sharp cemented its place as the go-to home appliance brand for Manchester United fans thanks to the 1999 Champions League.

With the Red Devils 1-0 in stoppage time, Teddy Sheringham and Solskajer both found the net to hand Sir Alex Ferguson’s side their first European title and only England treble.

The couple were linked for nearly two decades, with Sharp’s sponsorship spanning from 1982 to 2000.

Their association ended when Vodafone became the main sponsor of the Red Devils.

Jagermeister – Eintracht Braunschweig

Braunschweig were the ambitious pioneers
Braunschweig were the ambitious pioneers

Although it’s disputed that Eintracht Braunschweig were the first team to have a shirt sponsor in 1972, they certainly got the ball rolling for the rest of the world.

Braunschweig, then from the Bundesliga, combined their bright yellow shirts with local sponsor Jagermeister.

The stunt netted the team DM 100,000 and paved the way for the football business that is worth millions today.

These days, Jagermeister is a well-known cliché at a student party, and much of that is due to their exhibitor in Braunschweig.

Pirelli – Inter Milano

Pirelli spent more than 25 years with Inter Milan
Pirelli spent more than 25 years with Inter Milan

Alright, hands up, we lied earlier; nothing screams 1990s Serie A than Ronaldo bombarding towards a shaky defense with Pirelli on his kit in that iconic strip on the outside.

It seems Pirelli only got into the tire business to sponsor Inter Milan.

Since 1995, the iconic elongated P, which is certainly not an F, has adorned Inter kits.

With Pirelli as title sponsor, Inter won the 2010 treble under Jose Mourinho.

Newcastle Brown Ale – Newcastle

Newcastle strikers Alan Shearer (l) and Les Ferdinand celebrate a goal during the Premiership match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St Jame's Park on October 20, 1996 in Newcastle, England.  Newcastle won the match 5-0.
Newcastle almost won the Premier League with Newcastle Brown ale as sponsor

Newcastle United’s later years, stuck somewhere between mid-table and Mike Ashley, had fans longing for glory days.

And what image signifies the glory days more than Alan Shearer walking away in celebration, hand in the air and hair still on his head, with the Newcastle Brown Ale logo on his shirt.

Kevin Keegan’s ‘artists’ approached the Premier League crown with this iconic logo.

And even now it’s hard not to spot the sponsor in a home draw at Newcastle.

Quilmes-Boca Juniors and River Plate

Maradona has made two appearances on this list
Maradona has made two appearances on this list

Gabriel Batistuta, Claudio Caniggia and Buenos Aires-based Pilsner Quilmes are three of the names who have dared to step through the Superclasico.

And the beer is undoubtedly the most successful.

On the blue side, Boca Juniors shirts with the branding saw Maradona, Juan Riquelme and Martin Palermo donning the shirt.

While their hated rivals River Plate have Hernan Crespo, Pablo Aimar and Esteban Cambiasso.

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