Paddy Power’s Second ‘Unsponsored Derby’ to Kick Off

  • Paddy Power's ‘Unsponsored Derby’ is part of the bookmaker's ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign
  • Half of all English soccer clubs in the top two leagues are sponsored by gambling firms
  • No shirt sponsorship will be visible when the League Two teams play on January 28
soccer players in action
The League Two fixture between Newport County and Macclesfield Town will be Paddy Power’s second ‘Unsponsored Derby’ of the season. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Soccer teams clash in League Two

Paddy Power is pushing through with its idea of removing shirt sponsors from soccer matches. Newport County host Macclesfield Town on January 28 for the second ‘Unsponsored Derby’ of the season.

It’s part of the popular bookmaker’s ‘Save our Shirt’ campaign. Players from both teams will step onto the pitch at Rodney Parade without any sponsor logos.

Fans attending the event will also be greeted with an unsponsored ground, as Paddy Power has bought up almost all of the ground’s advertising boards. The bookmaker has also unsponsored the official match program and the Man of the Match award.

In order to do this, Paddy Power had to reach out to other companies that had already booked advertising on perimeter boards to ensure no brand logos are visible.

Kicked off with Huddersfield Town

The campaign began earlier in the season through a partnership between Paddy Power and Huddersfield Town following another shirt stunt that saw the club receive a fine of £50,000 ($65,000) for breaching advertising rules.

Since then, Newport County, Motherwell, Southend FC, and Macclesfield Town have also signed with Paddy Power to embrace the message.

The initiative makes a stand against the number of teams in England’s top two divisions sponsored by bookmakers. In the 2019/20 season alone, half of all teams are backed by a gambling company.

Trophy up for grabs

Now the latest derby between Newport and Macclesfield will once again highlight the campaign.

In a statement, Paddy Power said: “We’re excited to see two of our partner clubs match up again and proud to unsponsor as much of the match as is possible, to return the game to the supporters.”

The Amber Army will take on the Silkmen, with the winner walking away with a trophy. If the match ends in a draw, the team’s will have to share the silverware.

previous meeting between these teams ended in a 1-1 draw at Moss Rose

The previous meeting between these teams ended in a 1-1 draw at Moss Rose, home of Macclesfield Town. It meant that both sides were able to walk away with something for their respective trophy cabinets.

Newport County’s Commercial Manager Alex Eagle, said: “NCAFC are delighted to be hosting the second ‘Save Our Shirt’ Unsponsored Derby of the season. A huge thank you to our partners who have got involved, here’s hoping County can get the win and secure the trophy!”

Links between gambling and soccer

In the meantime, the Department for Culture, Media & Sport has announced that it will be looking further into soccer’s relationship with betting following an ‘imminent review’ of the 2005 Gambling Act.

Sports Minister Nigel Adams confirmed that the department would be looking into whether betting sponsorships had normalized gambling among fans.