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Everton nets lucrative Cazoo shirt sponsorship with women’s and youth rights still to sell

English Premier League club Everton has struck a three-season deal to make online car retailer Cazoo its new shirt sponsor.

The Cazoo logo will debut on the Everton first team and under-23 playing shirt from the start of the 2020-21 season. As well as the front-of-shirt presence, Cazoo branding will be prevalent across Goodison Park, official club merchandise, the club’s digital platforms and on Everton’s media backdrops.

SportBusiness understands the deal, which runs until the end of the 2022-23 season, is worth about £8.5m (€9.5m/$10.8m) per season.

Everton’s commercial team saw similarities between Cazoo – a ‘disruptor’ looking to change the way cars are bought and sold – and its own position in the Premier League as a club with the ambition of breaking the stronghold of Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United on the Premier League top six.

Sasha Ryazantsev, chief finance and commercial officer at Everton, said today (Monday): “In our search for a new partner, we were hoping to find a dynamic brand with strong growth potential and we have certainly found that with Cazoo. Our partnership will help Cazoo extend its reach and audience significantly to continue its impressive growth trajectory.”

Also significant for the club in advancing its commercial growth strategy is the opportunity a the deal grants it to sell children’s replica kits with its front-of-shirt sponsor on. Since 2004, its main sponsor has been Malaysian beer Chang and then gambling firm SportPesa, sectors which can only be displayed on replica shirts for adults.

SportBusiness understands Cazoo identified Premier League sponsorship as a viable avenue to grow brand awareness early on its development as a company and had been searching for a partner for some time.

Alex Chesterman, the founder and chief executive of Cazoo, said: “This opportunity will help significantly enhance our brand awareness as we look to make Cazoo a household name.”

SportBusiness understands the deal has been in the works for some time and was close to being finalised before the Covid-19 outbreak and was held up slightly by the logistical issue of bringing the parties together amid the restrictions imposed as part of the response to the Pandemic.

Assets divided as SportPesa departs

Cazoo replaces Kenyan betting brand SportPesa as the club’s main sponsor. That deal – worth about £9.6m per season – had been set to run to 2021-22 but was cut short by the club.

The reduced value of the new deal is explained by its reduced inventory: unlike SportPesa, Cazoo will not have rights to the shirt front of the women’s or youth teams.

The club expects the overall value of its portfolio will have increased significantly when these assets are also sold.

While the club had wanted to move away from a betting brand as main sponsor, it would be happy to partner with one on these lower-level assets. It also expects renewed interest from brands who may have been put off by position close to a betting brand.