Same Cup, New Sponsor = New Logo. The FA Cup is the oldest football competition in the world, with the first competition being held in 1871, 140 years later it is still the most famour domestic cup in the World and still high on the priority lists of many clubs and fans. This year the FA Cup has a new sponsor, Beer giant Budweiser, after the deal with previous sponsor E-on expired, the new 3 year deal will see the competition called the FA Cup with Budweiser. The deal with Budweiser in my opinion is a massive success for the FA, associating themselves and the worlds most famous cup competition with one of the worlds most famous beer brands can only be a positive thing.
With a new sponsorship deal inevitably comes a new logo for the competition, the new logo has stepped away from the traditional FA Cup image and layout we've seen with previous sponsorship deatails and given its own artistic take on the trophy using the iconic ribbons whilst still maintaining the highly recognisable shape of the trophy. 2 versions of the logo have so far been leaked one I'm sure will be the arm patch for the teams whilst I am guessing the other will be used on promotional items.
I have to admit I do like the new logos they bring a more modern feel to a logo which has been a bit boring in its previous versions, the logo symbolises the approach from both the FA and Budweiser to create a more modern and exciting competition and breath a bit of life back into the competition which has lost a bit of its lure with the rise of the Champions League, whilst hoping to use Budweisers world wide brand to bring the competition to new fans. In my opinion the new logo is a massive improvement on those throughout the FA Cups history, you can see the old logos at the bottom of this article.
Both the FA and Budweiser see the partnership as a way to promote both brands globally and to a new audience, Alex Horne, FA General Secretary, said: “We are extremely pleased to have secured an iconic brand such as Budweiser to be the Lead Partner of The FA Cup. Like The FA Cup, Budweiser has a proud heritage and a long history of being involved in football.
"Furthermore, given the global reach of this sponsorship, we will see The FA Cup promoted around the world like never before which is great for the fans and the players. The FA Cup is already a much-loved competition around the world and we look forward to building on that passion with Budweiser.” Chris Burggraeve, Chief Marketing Officer at AB InBev, said: “AB InBev is a long-standing supporter of football around the world. We share The Football Association’s ambitions to showcase the tournament globally, uniting the millions of fans around the world who anticipate The FA Cup each year."
The new partnership has gotten to work straight away, at the extra preliminary round stage, a stage which recieves very little press to bring the FA Cup to new audiences and make the audiences feel closer to the games. The first initiative and not really an origional one, Sky are also doing it this season, is having viewers vote for the Man of the Match in games by sending a text message with the players name.
However the new initiative that is ground breaking Budweiser & the FA have agreed a decial with social network giant Facebook to screen the extra preliminary round between Ascot United and Wembley FC, via the Budweiser UK Fan Page. This approach will give the whole world a chance to watch the early stages of the tournament and open up the early rounds to an audience its never had before, and also gives 2 small teams and chance of worldwide exposure something I'm sure they would never have dreamed of happening before hand.
It will be interesting to see how the match is presented via Facebook and how the new logo will be incorporated and how the new in match graphics will look, however with the early initiative being taken by Budweiser in promoting the tournament I fell this sponsorship deal may bring many more benefits to both the FA and the FA Cup as a competition than the English Football Association were anticipating. Hopefully this new partnership will breath much needed life back into the FA Cup
For more on the Facebook screening I'd recommend heading over to Karl Lusbecs Football Blog, well worth a read: http://karllusbec.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/facebook-to-air-live-f-a-cup-match/
Previous FA Cup Logos:
1994-1998 The Littlewoods FA Cup
1998-2002 The AXA FA Cup
2002-2006 The FA Cup - No Sponsor
2006-2011 The FA Cup Sponsored by e-on