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Banco BS2 quits Flamengo shirt deal as Amazon ‘waits in wings’

(Photo by Cristina Vega Rhor / AFP) (Photo by CRISTINA VEGA RHOR/AFP via Getty Images)

Banco BS2, the main shirt sponsor of Campeonato Brasileiro Série A club Flamengo, will terminate its deal on June 30 with six months still to run on its contract.

BS2 signed the sponsorship with the Rio-based club in 2019 in a two-year deal, reportedly worth about R$15m (€2.5m/$2.8m) in its second year, or upwards of R$25m per year conditional on bonuses derived from new fan accounts at the bank.

The club has reportedly held talks with e-commerce giant Amazon as a replacement in the master sponsor position.

The club attributed Banco BS2’s change of direction to a “strategic decision” by the digital bank, which offered fans branded BS2 Flamengo accounts and bank cards as part of the deal.

However, the club’s attribution has been contradicted by Brazilian news reports which relate the decision directly to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, as was the departure of another Flamengo sponsor, the olive oil brand Azeite Royal.

Azeite Royal also ended sponsorship contracts with club rivals Botafogo, Fluminense and Vasco and with the Maracanã Stadium.

The suspension of the league since April had also led to non-payment of sponsorship fees at the São Paulo-based club Corinthians, according to the Maquina do Esporte website. It is claimed that two-thirds of the club’s sponsors have suspended payments in the period.

The departure of Banco BS2 is the biggest hit to Brazilian football’s sponsorship economy since the league was suspended. While the brand was associated with the club, Flamengo won the triple crown (Campeonato Carioca, Libertadores Cup and Brazilian championship) in 2019, and the Recopa and Supercopa in 2020.