One of the growing trends in world football is the commercialization of various aspects of the game. In the lower leagues of England, where Premier League TV money barely trickles down, teams have been forced to find new revenue streams. These new sources of income are coming off the field and don't include merchandise sales. Bolton Wanderers have just taken one such route with the announcement of a new sponsorship.
The new deal will see Bartercard, the world's largest barter trading exchange, have its name on the North Stand at the Reebok Stadium. The deal actually offers a novel twist as Wanderers won't be paid in cash for advertising Bartercard's name. Instead, Wanderers will receive "trade pounds," a sort of cash equivalent that they can use in the barter exchange for goods and services that would otherwise cost the club money. These services could include transportation (like coach and flights), accommodations on away trips, marketing training, and so on to help Bolton Wanderers.
Speaking in the club's official release, Bolton's Head of Corporate Relations, Adrian Blackburn, said:
"Bolton Wanderers are proud to receive loyal match-day support from entire families and delighted to announce Bartercard as the official sponsor of our revamped family stand.
"We're proud to be associated with a company that has an excellent track record of enabling small businesses to succeed and look forward to the season ahead."
Simon Barker, Bartercard UK CEO, added:
"Everyone at Bartercard would like to wish Bolton Wanderers well for the season ahead and hope that the revamped Bartercard UK North Stand can build on the club's tradition of providing excellent match-day entertainment for the entire family."
The deal would also see the North Stand decorated with "fans' quotes and photographs illustrating their favourite Wanderers' moments."