In the Bank of England Museum, one of the items on display is a Newcastle United Shirt sporting its at the time Sponsor, Northern Rock, serving as a reminder of the 2007-2008 banking crisis.

Outside parties can take a look at the shirt sponsors of Newcastle United over the last few decades and notice an unwanted pattern for its financial services sponsors.

The famous branding of Newcastle Brown Ale on the front of the shirt is now an iconic look and one of the most appropriate football shirt sponsors of all time. Very few teams have the chance to include their team name in the sponsor, as much as I can dream of Halifax Bank sponsoring Halifax town purely for this article. But Newcastle has had a less than successful time when it has come to sponsors based in the banking and payments world. Northern Rock was the shirt sponsor of Newcastle United from 2005 to 11, before moving to Virgin Money and then Wonga.

Virgin Money is soon to be engulfed into Nationwide and enjoyed a much better reputation since its predecessor. However, Wonga, a payday loan firm, became defunct in 2020. Very soon, the three recent financial services shirt sponsors of Newcastle United will fade into the past.

This ‘Newcastle curse’ is one that other clubs and financial services companies will be eager to not replicate, with there being thousands of financial partnerships across the world of football right now, from stadium naming rights to front-of-shirt sponsors.

Brands in the Financial Services sector have signed more deals in Football than the next nine top sports combined.

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Liverpool is experiencing a successful working relationship with their main sponsor. In 2023 Liverpool renewed its deal with Standard Chartered, which appears as the shirt sponsor of the Merseyside club. The deal has a value of $238m which makes it the highest-value deal with a financial partner in world football.

There is a total of 6 partnerships that reach a value of $100m or higher. Mastercard and Visa are often names seen associated with football, with Mastercard taking its sponsorship of the Champions League to 30 years as of this year with the deal signed in 2021, valued at $172.5m. Visa shadowed this with its FIFA partnership, extended to 2026, valued at $150m.

Mastercard continues a trend of increased interest in sponsorship of Women’s sports, sponsoring Arsenal Women’s.

Another big deal for payments, and one that has become very closely associated with the club, American Express extended its partnership with Brighton and Hove Albion in 2020 for a huge 12 years. This $122.55m deal sees the stadium being known as The Amex and American Express appearing on the front of the team’s shirts.

American teams went big on their financial services sponsors, rounding out the top six with two $100m deals. Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) gave the naming rights to its stadium to Bank of Montreal, while Real Salt Lake City did the same thing with America First Credit Union. BMO are also the shirt sponsor for Toronto FC, who compete in the same league.

The Brazillian Football Confederation (CBF) revealed a four-year extension of its partnership with Itau Unibanco financial services firm while Dutch soccer’s KNVB extended its main sponsorship deal with ING to 2028

Perhaps the most well-known financial partnership in football is Barclays and the Premier League, with Barclays extending its deal with the league, as well as the Women’s Super League, until at least 2025.

As Saudi Arabian football continues its pursuit of rapid growth, it is perhaps taking a page out of the Premier League’s book by partnering with Alinma Bank, which extended its sponsorship of Saudi Professional League for 2023-2024 season, with this year’s extension costing $12.5m

Chase also became the official banking partner of the Home Nations Teams. Chase signed a multi-year partnership to become the Official Banking Partner of all four Men’s, Women’s, Youth, and Para national teams.

A host of British clubs currently have partnerships with banking and payments companies this season. Corplay signed one-season deals with Aston Villa, Watford and West Ham United. West Ham also extended its partnership with Trustly and Jeton Wallet. Wolverhampton Wanderers extended its partnership with AstroPay, Ebury partnered with Fulham, while Rapidz extended its partnership with Burnley through the 2025-26 season.

Outside of the Premier League, Europe’s elite clubs were heavily active in its financial partnerships

Real Madrid goes through the La Liga season with three financial partnerships, Liberbank, Ouro as a regional sponsor and Saudi Investment Bank. El Classico rivals doubled that figure with six: Scotiabank, CaixaBank, EBC Financial Group, Maybank, Banco BMG and Saigon Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank.

Bayern Munich extended its partnership with HypoVereinsbank until 2025 and made Global66 a partner in South America.

Paris Saint-Germain extended its partnerships with Qatar National Bank and American Express.

Manchester City only has one bank or payments provider sponsor for this season, First Abu Dhabi Bank. Manchester United on the other hand had a 10: Maybank, Virgin Money, Cardless, Emirates NBD Bank, Shinsei Bank, CB Bank, Invex Banco, Krungsri, Eurobank Direktna and ICICI Bank.

Inter Milan partnered with BPER Banca and Ria Money Transfer, while it extended its partnership with Snaipay.

These partnerships, along with the thousand others that have taken place this season across the world of football, will hope to end up as popular sponsors and avoid making an appearance in The Bank of England Museum.