NEIL Doncaster revealed the search for a title sponsor of the Scottish Professional Football League and League Cup continues but refused to put a timescale on it.
The SPFL chief executive was at Hampden Park yesterday to announce a three-year, six-figure deal with Irn-Bru to be the official soft drink of the SPFL. The glaring holes in the SPFL’s sponsorship portfolio, however, are the titles of the leagues and League Cup.
To that end, Doncaster is talking with various organisations but stressed the importance of getting the “right fit”.
“We remain in discussions with a number of different bodies around league title sponsorship and also League Cup sponsorship,” he said. “Those conversations will continue. It is important that we take the time to partner with the right organisation, just like AG Barr and Irn-Bru today.
“It is important not to put timescales on this. It is important to work with the various brands that we are talking to and, in time, be able to announce the right brand and the right fit for the SPFL.”
Doncaster claimed yesterday’s sponsorship announcement was another positive sign for the game. He said: “AG Barr were keen to partner with us so we are very pleased to conclude that deal and announce it today. All 42 clubs will benefit.
“We are already partners with a number of different, well-recognised brands and AG Barr are just the latest. We already have a deal with Mitre in terms of the balls, we have William Hill as our official betting partner, we have all sorts of licensing deals and we have a very good broadcast deal.
“I think today’s deal demonstrates the confidence that exists within the SPFL and within Scottish football in general.”
The agreement between AG Barr and the SPFL means that Irn-Bru will continue their long-standing association with the game, having already enjoyed six years as title sponsor of the now disbanded Scottish Football League.
Adrian Troy, head of marketing at AG Barr, admits that sponsoring the SPFL leagues and the League Cup was not on his company’s agenda.
He said: “That hasn’t been in our thinking through this process. The association with football is a very important part of our plan but it is not the only thing as a brand that we do. But this is an exciting sponsorship for AG Barr.
“We have had a long history of association with football in Scotland, most specifically though the last years with title sponsorship of the Scottish Football League, so we are very keen to keep that association going.”