So, Paddy strikes again, this time by admitting that their new sponsorship, while 100% genuine, will not see their brand’s logo emblazoned on a hen night style sash across the new Huddersfield Town shirt. Only two days after its launch, the notorious PP admitted it was all a big fake and yet another in their long list of elaborate publicity pranks, though this time with a socially responsible twist.
On Wednesday, Huddersfield released their new home kit for the 2019-20 season, complete with oversized Paddy Power logo running through it. This was, understandably, met with a very mooted reception. At the time, many suspected it may have been a publicity stunt, and we even suggested as much, only for Huddersfield to wear their new strip in a pre-season friendly match against Rochdale mid-week.
However, by Friday the Irish bookmaker came clean on Twitter and admitted that the controversial kit was not the real thing and furthermore, they were “UNsponsoring” HTAFC. It was all was part of a Paddy Power campaign entitled #SaveOurShirt.
“So yeah, our Huddersfield shirt WAS a fake. We’re not just sponsoring them this season, we’re UNsponsoring them too, through our Save Our Shirt campaign”.
Also on Friday, The Terriers released their new sponsor-free home jersey which was much more warmly received. Instead, the new shirt features light blue and white stripes, while the away kit is a plain dark blue number, with a light blue and white trim on the sleeves.
Paddy Power MD, Victor Corcoran, said;
“Shirt sponsorship in football has gone too far. We accept that there is a role for sponsors around football, but the shirt should be sacred. So today we are calling on other sponsors to join the Save Our Shirt campaign and give something back to the fans. As a sponsor, we know our place, and it’s not on your shirt”.
Save Our Shirt
Save Our Shirt by Paddy Power aims to urge other online gaming operators to remove their brands’ logos from the shirts of football clubs. The campaign, which is similar to an element of GVC’s Changing For The Bettor social responsibility initiative, is designed to highlight the issues that surround shirt sponsorship and in particular that of gaming companies.
GVC firm Betdaq recently terminated its shirt sponsorship of AFC Sunderland in accordance with the betting group’s Changing For The Bettor mandate. GVC then donated the shirt sponsorship to the Children With Cancer charity who will now act as the principle SAFC partner for the upcoming 2019-2020 football season as well as featuring on this season’s shirts.
Currently, 14 Championship clubs have betting companies across their kits.
Shirt Amnesty Planned For Supporters
Paddy Power also plan to set up a ‘shirt amnesty’ outside the John Smith’s Stadium for The Terriers’ first game of the season against Derby, giving out 500 of the brand new unbranded shirts as part of a swap for fans’ old branded kits. The betting site will also donate their commercial rights for the club’s training kit toward the Huddersfield Town foundation. For their part, Huddersfeld will auction off 15 of the novelty fake original sashed shirts to raise money for three local charities.
Huddersfield Commercial Director Sean Jarvis was understandably pleased with the deal and also the stance the club have taken, saying;
“We’re happy to support Paddy Power’s ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign with the launch of our actual 2019/20 home kit this morning.
It has been a very interesting two days’ since the original launch on Wednesday, which we expected, but we’ve always had in mind that our supporters would understand, and really like the real kit when it was properly revealed today.
We’re really happy with this kit, which is unique in modern-day football. I’d like to thank Paddy Power, Umbro and everyone else involved in the kit for their hard work towards today.”
Having spent two seasons in the Premier League under the management of David Wagner, new manager Jan Siewert was bought in towards the end of last season but was unable to prevent the Yorkshire club from falling down back in to the Championship.