Sunderland shirt sponsor reviews deal amid Paolo Di Canio row

Paolo Di Canio: Sunderland manager (picture credit: Hilton Teper)
Paolo Di Canio: Sunderland manager (picture credit: Hilton Teper)

Invest in Africa, Sunderland's shirt sponsor, is reviewing relationship of the club, amid claims that the appointment of manager Paolo Di Canio could alienate thousands of fans.

The appointment of Di Canio has caused controversy because of his extreme right-wing political views.

Reports today said angry World War II veterans will boycott games because of Di Canio's appointment. David Miliband, the former foreign secretary, has also resigned from the club's board over Di Canio's "past political statements".

Invest in Africa signed a one-year deal in 2012. It is now reviewing whether or not to renew its sponsorship.

Sport sponsorship experts believe the appointment of Di Canio will be a huge factor in its decision to renew the deal. It will also factor in the club's possible relegation from the Premier League.

Andy Kenny, managing director at Brandrapport, said: "What is apparent is Di Canio’s appointment has caused a media stir, and as a sponsor it can bring your brand into focus. Media, customers, and stakeholders will look for a point of view, and potentially some action.

"As a sponsor you can be tarnished by a partnership with an organisation whose brand and judgement is being questioned but it’s also important to ensure that you don’t get caught up in the media frenzy, but work through your point of view in a calm, pragmatic manner."

Invest in Africa is an initiative which seeks to promote investment in the continent and challenge the view of Africa as a poverty-stricken continent.

The shirt sponsorship deal, valued at £20m a season, was originally struck for two years but Sunderland subsequently said the deal was only for one year, with the option of a further year.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message