38 Years Ago Today: Liverpool Becomes First English Pro Team with Shirt Sponsor

Shirt sponsors are one of the most common things in football nowadays, but they actually haven't been around for that long. In fact, on this day 38 years ago Liverpool became the first English professional club to have one when they signed a ground-breaking agreement with Japanese company Hitachi.

A deal that was worth GBP 100,000 over two years, it allowed Hitachi to put its name on Liverpool's jerseys in all local games that weren't televised. Just two years later, in 1981, Arsenal penned a contract with JVC, another Japanese company, that was worth GBP 500,000 over three seasons.

However, whereas the Premier League easily leads the way in terms of commercialization these days, German Bundesliga side Braunschweig had debuted Jägermeister as shirt sponsor as early as in 1973, making it the first football club to do so globally.

As of today, the most valuable shirt sponsorship deal in world football is Manchester United's with Chevrolet, estimated at USD 80 million per season, followed by Barcelona / Rakuten and Chelsea / Yokohama Tyres.

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