The most iconic shirt sponsors in Premier League history - including Newcastle, Liverpool, and Spurs kits

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Leeds United have just announced a new sponsorship partnership with Red Bull.

Red Bull Leeds United. Has a certain ring to it, don’t you think? Nah, of course you don’t, but the moniker was trending online earlier in the week after it was announced that from next season onwards, the Whites will be sporting the popular energy drink as their front of shirt sponsor. Thankfully, the visible association will go no further than that; there will be no re-christenings, no ‘Taurine End’ at Elland Road. Red Bull as a company now own a minority stake in Leeds United, but their influence should be minimal.

And if that is the case, then this actually has the potential to be a genuinely iconic sponsorship partnership. Not only is that clean cut logo - with its charging vermilion longhorns and lowing sun (Think it’s a sun? At the very least, it’s a yellow circle.) - infinitely better than any number of gambling enterprises and murky financial ventures, but if Leeds actually manage to go one step further than they did last weekend and secure a return to the Premier League in 2024/25, it will forever be synonymous with a glorious moment in their recent history.

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It also got us thinking about some of the most venerated sponsors in English football, and with that in mind - and in no particular order - we’ve tallied up some of our favourites below...

Newcastle United - Newcastle Brown Ale

In many respects, the perfect sponsor. The Toon and the Broon, united on the front of those iconic Adidas kits from the ‘90s - a genuinely stunning affair. Ask anybody on Tyneside and they will tell you that this is, by some distance, the best partnership that Newcastle have ever had. Not only is the brand iconic, but that logo itself, with its ovular outline and Tyne Bridge silhouette within the famed blue star, is a thing of beauty.

West Ham - Dr. Martens

Docs are achingly cool. And achingly sore until properly worn in, but that is besides the point. West Ham were sponsored by the shoe manufacturer for a few years around the turn of the millennium, and there was something about that font on that claret and blue colourway that just worked. Not to be confused with the Martin Clunes character.

Tottenham Hotspur - Holsten

Tottenham were actually sponsored by Holsten twice; once from 1983 to 1995, and then again from 1999 to 2002. The brief intermission was hijacked by Hewlett Packard, which, to be fair, was also pretty smart. The beer was better though. Iconic stuff.

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Portsmouth - Ty

For three years in the early 2000s, Pompey were sponsored by Ty, manufacturers of wildly popular stuffed toys, Beanie Babies. Your guess is as good as ours, but that red love heart and white bubble writing genuinely bordered on high fashion, in an ironic sort of way.

Fulham - Pizza Hut

No one out-pizzas the hut, and nobody does shirt sponsors better either. There’s something deliciously (no pun intended) ironic about a professional sporting venture being sponsored by a fast food restaurant, but when the resulting kit looks as good as Fulham’s 2001/02 effort, we’re willing to turn a blind eye to the inherent contradictions. See also: Wolves and Doritos, Leicester City and Walkers.

Bolton Wanderers - Reebok

Reebok took the ‘Dennis Waterman: write the theme tune, sing the theme tune’ approach to their two decade association with Bolton Wanderers, not only manufacturing their kits and renaming their stadium, but sticking their brand all over the front of the Trotters’ shirts too. Did anybody mind? With a design and a team this good, absolutely not. Two names, three words: Jay-Jay Okocha.

Manchester City - Brother

Kind of serendipitous that City’s partnership with Japanese electronic company Brother coincided with the meteoric rise of the most famous Mancunian siblings of all-time... the Nevilles. Sorry, sorry; the Gallaghers. Cue many an iconic photo shoot.

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Arsenal - Sega/JVC

Take your pick when it comes to the Gunners, really. JVC were their front of shirt sponsors throughout most of the ‘80s and ‘90s, and lent their acronym to many a revered Arsenal shirt over the course of that run. In 1999, Sega took over, advertising their Dreamcast on the home kit and their company logo on the away effort. The Dreamcast was widely panned, but the shirts it gave us were downright sublime.

Manchester United - Sharp

Maybe the most notable Manchester United sponsor of all-time. From 1982 to 2000, the Red Devils won all sorts of silverware, including a treble, with electronics manufacturer Sharp on the front of their shirt. For a good solid chunk of that time they had Lee Sharpe on the books at Old Trafford too, which must have saved a bit on printing costs.

Liverpool - Carlsberg

Carlsberg don’t do football shirt sponsorship... but they used to. From 1992 to 2010, the Danish lager company were printed all over Liverpool’s kits, and while they may have been around through a lot of underwhelming times, they are still very much associated with the identity of the club, even to this day.

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