West Brom sponsors mull exits following Zoopla’s decision
Jack Wolfskin and Holler Watches are considering following Zoopla in dropping their sponsorship deals with West Bromwich Albion in response to striker Nicolas Anelka being charged by the Football Association (FA) over his controversial “quenelle” salute.
The Frenchman has until tomorrow (23 January) to appeal against the governing body’s decision that the gesture breached anti-racism football laws.
West Brom’s sponsors have wasted little time in reacting to the news in an attempt to distance their brands from the negative headlines around the incident. Fashion watchmaker Holler Watches, which is sponsoring the club until the end of this season, says it is reviewing its deal.
Jack Wolfskin says it is “considering” ending its two-year deal after just nine months. In a statement the business adds it is “following developments closely” but has not made a decision yet.
The German clothes maker says: “We consider the charges as serious and strongly disapprove of any gestures or statements which are meant to discriminate a single person or a certain group of people. We are now awaiting the judgment from the FA before taking further steps.
“Depending on West Brom’s [response to the ruling] and considering our legal possibilities, we would also consider ending our sponsorship as one option.”
Meanwhile, West Brom shirt sponsor Adidas said there were no plans to axe its five-year deal. The sports maker’s decision comes after it reviewed its deal with golfer Sergio Garcia last month after accusations the Spanish golfer made a racist joke about Tiger Woods.
A spokesman for the company says: “Adidas is wholly opposed to extremism of any kind but this is a matter for the club. We are fully supportive of West Bromwich Albion and look forward to continuing our partnership.”
The announcements come just days after Zoopla revealed it would not be reviewing its £3m commercial deal with the West Midlands club at the end of the season because of the alleged ant-Semitic connotations of the “quenelle”.