Why are there soccer teams with company names?

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Red Bull and Philips are just some of the companies that are part of the names of well-known football clubs, in these cases, it's more than a sponsorship

Why are there soccer teams with company names?

In the history of founding football teams, there is everything: groups of friends, residents of a specific region of a city, state decrees and, oddly enough, companies that create their own teams. Currently, there are a lot of teams in different leagues around the world that share their name with a company, either for business or tradition.

Leer en español: ¿Por qué hay equipos de fútbol con nombres de empresas?

One of the companies that has been linked more time to the history of this sport is the German pharmaceutical Bayer. According to its history, which appears on its official website, in 1903, two employees of this company passed a letter asking for support for the creation of what would later become the Bayer Leverkusen, football team of great tradition in the German league.

A post shared by Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04fussball) on

This case is repeated with other large and traditional teams in Europe. For example, the famous Dutch team PSV, founded in 1913, was sponsored by the Philips company, which is why its full name is Philips Sport Vereniging.

In Latin America, these cases are also common. The most famous case could be the Mexican club Cruz Azul, which was founded in 1927 by the cement company Cooperativa Cruz Azul. Another case is the Club Sporting Cristal, a team of Peruvian origin, founded in 1955 by the owners of the Backus & Johnston brewery, who gave the team the name of its best-selling product.

On the other side of the world, in South Korea, we can also find the Ulsan Hyundai, founded by the famous automotive company Hyundai.

Read also: City Football Group: The business model that takes the world of football

Football and business: together forever

As we see, in the history of football, large companies have been linked in one way or another with the development of sports and the founding of clubs. At this time, with the news of sponsors and brands that support the development of the game, this relationship may seem normal. However, it is necessary to think that the industry we know now has not been a constant in the development of football throughout the century XX. And even now, there are still cases that surprise fans around the world.

The clearest example of more commercial procedures can be seen in the teams that Red Bull has acquired and which they have renamed, forming the image of each club at their disposal. Red Bull is a company that has been present in different sports, as well as in the promotion of cultural events and, in general, market situations that go beyond their own product. This company began its journey with the acquisition of SV Austria of Salzburg, which became Red Bull Salzburg. And from then on, Red Bull has been acquiring clubs and reforming them, like the New York Red Bulls, or the RasenBallsport Leipzig; or even creating new clubs from scratch, like Red Bull Brazil.

The goal of the conglomerate Red Bull is to position its new clubs under a very clear brand, which is identified with the philosophy of the company. Clearly, followers who identify with the most romantic part of the sport will see these teams as an advertising invention that can not be compared to traditional teams, even those already mentioned, despite their entrepreneurial origin. However, you only need to see the development of Red Bull Salzburg, the project with more time, to think that, perhaps, business support is an effective way to continue improving the sport's level worldwide.

LatinAmerican Post | Jorge Ovalle

Translated from "¿Por qué hay equipos de fútbol con nombres de empresas?"

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