Industry Shorts: West Ham, MUFC, LaLiga...

15 Apr 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

A new claret-coloured pitch surround will be installed at the home of Premier League club West Ham United this week, bringing a lengthy saga to an end over London Stadium’s branding.

The club-branded design will be in place for West Ham’s Premier League fixture against Leicester City on 20th April.

The club said that it has committed “significant additional funding” – reported to be about £250,000 – to make the change following fan feedback and with a view to improving supporters’ matchday experience.

The colour of the pitch surround had been a long-running dispute, with the club’s landlord, the London Legacy Development Corporation, originally expressing its preference for a more neutral colour. However, West Ham argued successfully that the green surround for an athletics track was not consistent with the stadium’s primary use as a football venue.

The athletics track has been in place since the stadium opened as the centrepiece of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Manchester United has launched a new HATRED #allredallequal campaign to highlight the English Premier League club’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

The campaign has gone live across the club’s various marketing channels and was also visible around the stadium prior to United’s 2-1 win at home to West Ham United on Saturday.

A film, featuring members of the men’s and women’s teams, has also been created, showing reactions to discriminatory opinions and social posts.

The club launched its original #allredallequal campaign during the 2016/17 season.

LaLiga has confirmed that Puma will replace sportswear rival Nike as the Spanish football league’s technical partner from the start of next season.

The deal, which was first reported in the Spanish media last month, will run for three seasons, through to the end of the 2021/22 campaign. Puma will produce the official match ball and other products for all games in LaLiga Santander, the top tier, as well as the La Liga 1|2|3 second division.

Nike had been a partner of Spain’s top football competition since the 1996/97 season, but reports in Spain had suggested that LaLiga had grown frustrated that the balls being provided closely resembled those being supplied to the English Premier League. In November, the Premier League sealed a six-year extension to its partnership with Nike through to 2025.

The deal represents the second time in as many months that Puma has dislodged Nike as a partner of a major sports property. In March, Manchester City confirmed that Puma would replace Nike as the Premier League champion’s kit supplier from the start of the 2019/20 season. The 10-year deal, which also includes City’s sister clubs in Australia, China, Spain and Uruguay, is reportedly worth a total of £650m.