New West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola was bound to want to make his own mark on the club, but few would have expected that the first person to leave would be the sponsor.
The Hammers’ £2.5 million a year backer, XL.com, has gone into administration. The news did not break before West Ham had paraded their new boss in front of advertising boards featuring XL’s logo.
This means that they could be faced with the prospect of having to find a new sponsor very quickly or having to sell another defender (if they have any left) to cope with the shortfall. We thought we would help them with their search.
Zola is definitely more XS than XL, so the Hammers could opt to take their sponsor down a few clothing sizes. Unfortunately, we do not think XS.com is quite as big a brand name as XL.com, although it probably has more money at the minute. As far as we can tell they are a firm offering online and technical support, but Zola has rarely needed any help when it comes to technical things.
4. Fly Emirates
A sponsorship deal with the luxury airline would allow Zola to relive one of the sponsors of his Chelsea glory years and gain West Ham some Arab investment of their own in the process. Although, having already had one sponsor stolen by the slowing economy’s effect on the aviation industry, the Hammers might be a little reluctant to risk it with another flight operator.
3. The George McCartney Foundation
The Hammers could follow in the footsteps of Barcelona and Aston Villa by providing their shirt sponsorship to charity. If they picked the George McCartney Foundation they could help literally one displaced Northern Irish full-back refugee to find a new home in the north-east.
You too could be forever blowing bubbles if West Ham’s sponsor was a bubblegum manufacturer. Think of the endless possibilities for commercial tie-ins – thousands of Hammers fans chomping along on a Saturday afternoon. Wrigley’s might be reluctant to run the risk of losing the lucrative Sir Alex Ferguson contract though, as the Manchester United manager chews the same amount of chewing gum as 30,000 West Ham fans would in 90 minutes.
With the Italian revolution in full swing, what better sponsor than a tasty bolognese “lika mama used to make” for the Hammers? Bound to go down well with the Italians at the club and attract new Italian signings to the East End, although those red tomato stains will be a nightmare to get out of the white away kit.