Video games companies have been tapping into the extensive football fan base around the world for many years. Here’s a trip down memory lane and a look at some of the shirt sponsorship deals of past seasons.
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Rarely directly linked with their video games division, Sony have sponsored many teams around the world. Most famously the Japan based technology giants showed their support for Juventus in Italy’s Serie A from 1995-1998.
Juventus in Italy are probably the most famous team to bear the Sony name on their chest
Far from the big stage that Juventus enjoy, closer to home the company has its own team formed by workers at the Sony factory in Sendai, Japan in 1968. The club, imaginatively named ‘Sony Sendai FC’ passed up the opportunity to turn professional in 1992 when the ‘J League division 2’ was created, opting instead to compete in the ‘Japan Football League’ where they remain today.
Other teams to have worn the Sony logo on their chests include New Zealand team, Wellington Phoenix who play their football in the Australian league and Costa Ricans, Liga Deportiva Alajuelense.
1999 – 2006 |Playstation [PSP]
Rare as it is, there is one example of Sony directly promoting their video game consoles through football shirt sponsorship. The only team I could find are French club AJ Auxerre, currently playing their football in Ligue 2. But at the turn of the century the club were faring somewhat better in the country’s top division.
In 1999 the PlayStation logo appeared on the white shirts of AJ Auxerre and by 2002 this was updated to the PlayStation 2 name. Later on the logo would revert to saying just ‘PlayStation’ with the addition of the PSP logo on the breast for the 2005/6 season.
Why Sony opted to only sponsor the French side is something of a mystery.