Where are they now? The 22 shirt sponsors from the first PL season
The days of Arsenal wearing JVC, Liverpool advertising Carlsberg and Manchester United having Sharp plastered across their shirts were good days.
There are many reasons to be thankful for the growth of the Premier League over the past 30 years – but oh how we miss the shirt sponsors of the 90s.
TeamViewer, Etihad and Fly Emirates are among the huge overseas companies paying big money to get their brand seen by the masses, but will be reminiscing about them 30 years from now? Probably not. This lot from the 1992-93 season on the other hand definitely deserve remembering.
Arsenal – JVC
Just think of that classic early-90s, black and yellow Arsenal away shirt and you’ll instantly see that JVC logo in your mind.
You’ll probably immediately then think of VHS tapes and enormous video cameras, but JVC is actually still going after merging with Kenwood in 2008. Hopefully its employees have to wear the bruised banana shirt.
Aston Villa – Mita Copiers
Villa finished second in the inaugural Premier League season, but the success of their sponsor mirrored their own drop into the Championship.
The Mita name died out in 2000 after it was bought out by Japanese giant Kyocera.
Will it come back now Villa are back in the top tier and spending big? No, probably not. But we’d love to see it.
Blackburn – McEwan’s Lager
McEwan’s lager sponsoring an Asics shirt was wonderfully 90s. The brewery was at the height of its power in that decade, also sponsoring Rangers, Newcastle, Notts County, and the St Helens and Wakefield rugby league teams.
It’s still going today, albeit without the same exposure. So if anyone from McEwan’s is reading, please feel free to send us some and we promise not to stop going on about it.
Chelsea – Commodore International
Commodore’s fortunes went the complete opposite way as Chelsea’s, going bankrupt less than a year after the end of the 1992-93 campaign. Who knew?
Coventry City – Peugeot
Now into its 132nd year as a car manufacturer, albeit having closed its factory in Coventry back in 2006.
Crystal Palace – Tulip Computers NV
Palace actually had two kit manufacturers during the season, starting with Bukta before switching to Ribero. Tulip Computers, meanwhile, went bankrupt in 2009.
Everton – NEC
A decade-long sponsorship deal which ended with Everton winning the FA Cup in 1995.
NEC were bought by KEMET Corporation in 2017, with their name changing to Tokin Corporation.
Ipswich – Fisons
The pharmaceutical company were based in Ipswich and sponsored the club for eight years, including during their Second Division title triumph of 1991-92, but became defunct in 1995.
Leeds United – Admiral
Admiral both manufactured and sponsored the reigning champions’ kit, taking over from the Yorkshire Evening Post for the latter, as Leeds flirted with relegation, failing to win away from home throughout the whole season.
They’re still going, creating kits for a host of the smaller international teams and, for a while, AFC Wimbledon, which was a lovely throwback.
Liverpool – Carlsberg
We sort of miss Liverpool’s shirt being sponsored by lovely, horrible lager. Carlsberg remain in partnership with the Reds, however. In 2018 they brewed a limited edition beer to mark their 25th anniversary and released a celebratory can for their 2020 Premier League title triumph.
Manchester City – Brother Industries
Those pictures of Noel and Liam Gallagher in Brother-sponsored Manchester City shirts are all sorts of perfect. The company has made over 60 million sewing machines but is now based in Japan.
Manchester United – Sharp
During the 17 years Manchester United were sponsored by Sharp, the club won seven Premier League titles, five FA Cups, one League Cup, one Cup Winners’ Cup and one Champions League title before the partnership ended in 2000.
In 2016, the company became an ‘Official Platinum Partner’ of Stoke, which is extremely modern football. In laymen terms, they sponsor a stand.
Middlesbrough – Imperial Chemical Industries
Another sponsor that is now defunct, with the chemical company being taken over by AkzoNobel in 2008. F*ck knows.
Norwich City – Norwich and Peterborough
Very Alan Partridge. Very good. A building society you can trust, according to its website.
Nottingham Forest – Shipstones (home), Labatts (away)
The Against Modern Football brigade would vomit if a team was to have separate home and away sponsors nowadays, but Forest were doing it 30 years ago.
Shipstones recently returned to Nottingham following a period in which it was owned by what is now Heineken, while Labatts is now mainly known in Canada and the US.
Oldham Athletic – JD Sports
We’ve just googled ‘JD Sports Oldham’ and can tell you there’s one at Elk Mill Retail Park and Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre.
QPR – Classic FM
To be honest, sometimes we get a little bit tired of Heavy Metal Football and wouldn’t mind a bit of Classic FM back in the Premier League.
Sheffield United – Laver
A proper Yorkshire timber merchant sponsoring a proper Yorkshire football team. Lovely stuff.
Sheffield Wednesday – Sanderson
Sanderson doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page, which doesn’t bode well.
However, further research reveals they were, of course, a Yorkshire-based company. Dealing in software, though, not timber. How very fancy.
Southampton – Draper Tools
Draper Tools were a family-run tools business based in Hampshire which had sponsored Saints since 1983.
Actually, make that are – they’re still going today. Wouldn’t it be bloody lovely to see Draper Tools back on those shirts.
Tottenham – Holsten
Fun fact: we’ve had a bottle of Holsten Pils in our fridge for about two months now and can’t decide whether we actually like it or just enjoy that it makes us think of football.
Wimbledon – None
You don’t sponsor the Crazy Gang.