ANALYSIS: Fast cars and football is a match made in heaven for NCFC
- Credit: Tony Thrussell
Norwich City has announced Lotus as its new Premier League shirt sponsor - but the deal goes deeper than kit, writes Eleanor Pringle
Norwich City has some bridges to rebuild.
Management at the football club rightly fell in the estimations of its fans after signing a shirt sponsor with a chequered social media presence, to put it lightly.
Scantily clad women is a far cry from the family-owned, Premier League image which attracts fans from around the world.
So the Carrow Road team had to get themselves back in the driver’s seat.
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Let’s not forget that the two have an existing and beneficial relationship. The sports car manufacturer was previously the Canaries’ away shirt sponsor from 2003 to 2006.
The Hethel-based company has also sponsored the club’s training centre and academy in recent years.
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And after getting into bed with a murky, unaccountable betting company they’ve now aligned themselves even further with a premium legacy brand which has a proven track record in supporting sporting talent.
So yes, the club have done well out of this, but it's also a smart move for Lotus.
Norwich City is a more accessible brand than rare hypercars, and now the Lotus logo will get airtime around the globe.
Looking at the bottom line – picking up this sponsorship deal when the club wasn’t carrying the greatest goodwill also probably means they got a bit of a bargain.
But it goes beyond business for Lotus.
This is a brand which really cares about where it comes from – you just have to talk to their staff, visit their site.
Every time I interview Lotus bosses I ask them if they have any plans to leave Norfolk. The question is met with a mixture of surprise and incredulity: “Why would we?”
They want to be here – they're proud to be, they’ve just spend £100m on infrastructure to prove it.
So this partnership ticks every box – for both organisations.
Norwich City is back in the big leagues with a badge on its breast it can be proud of.
Lotus is backing a Norfolk institution with reach far beyond the race track.
And let’s be honest, fast cars and footballers? It’s a match made in heaven.