Could Morrisons be the new sponsor of the Football League?
The news that Npower is ending its three-year sponsorship of the Football League will come as little surprise to anyone involved in the commercial side of football.
Marketing magazine this week revealed the expected end of the three-year deal between the Football League and the utility company.
The reason it will come as little surprise as it would appear Npower has stopped caring about its sponsorship - a decision that coincided with the exit of its former marketing director, Kevin Peake, the football-mad Torquay United fan.
There are countless tales of Peake (a man not known to back down in an argument) red-faced and spitting blood at football club chief executives over what he saw as myopic Npower branding at football grounds up-and-down the country, from Torquay to Bradford.
Peake was made redundant as part of a cost-cutting exercise at Npower last year, and so with it Npower’s marketing activity around the football league diminished substantially.
In fact after a flurry of activity in its first year, it is difficult to find anyone with anything good to say about Npower’s marketing around the Football League, except Npower itself.
Npower points to the £720,000 it spent on its annual Respect programme, which tries to address anti-social behaviour in football, and it also launched a number of digital initiatives.
So the question is, which brand if any will step into replace Npower as sponsor of the Football League, whose previous sponsors include Coke, Nationwide, Endsleigh and Barclays?
Remember the BBC no longer covers Championships matches live!
Well, how about Morrisons, the Bradford-based supermarket, which has hitherto only dipped its toe into sport sponsorship with its £1m investment in England’s failed 2018 World Cup bid.
And while Morrisons’ 455 stores are now across the entire UK, Morrisons is still regarded as Northern as Emerdale Farm or Eccles Cakes, particularly in the south where it lags behind its rivals Sainsbury and Tesco.
The geographical spread of the Football League – its clubs cover all the compass points of the UK – would surely elevate the brand’s national standing and at less than £21m over three years could be seen as a bargain.