Vauxhall to end sponsorship deal with England and other home nations

Guardian sport
Vauxhall Motors has announced it is stepping down as lead sponsor of the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland football teams after the 2018 World Cup. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

Vauxhall is to end its seven-year headline sponsorship deal with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland when its contract expires after the 2018 World Cup.

The deal, believed to be worth £6m a year to the English Football Association alone, was signed in 2011 and renewed thereafter. But in a statement the car manufacturer said it would sever its links with all four national associations next year.

“Vauxhall Motors today announced that it will be stepping down from its role as lead sponsor of the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland football teams beyond the World Cup in 2018,” it said.

“Vauxhall has, however, agreed to explore other opportunities to continue its relationship with the FAs beyond the conclusion of the existing contracts. Since 2011, Vauxhall has been very proud to be the lead sponsor for each of the four home nations football associations, the first time this has ever been undertaken by a major organisation.”

The company was particularly visible during the Euro 2016 tournament last summer, given the involvement of three of the four home nations. Despite England’s disappointing exit against Iceland, Wales made it to the semi-finals.

The FA confirmed that Vauxhall would not be extending the partnership once the current contract runs out. However, it said that active discussions were under way regarding a lower-level partnership.

“We’ve enjoyed a strong partnership with Vauxhall since they started and will continue to develop exciting plans as we look to qualify for the World Cup in Russia next year,” said Mark Bullingham, the FA commercial and marketing director.

“After that we will go to market for a new England lead partner, which represents an exciting opportunity for brands to connect with England football fans throughout the country. The opportunity to partner with the national team in the largest sport in the world can be transformative.”

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