You can pick up a lot about an era from sports sponsorship.
Back in the 1970s and 80s, it was all about the tobacco companies. It would seem bizarre today, but football and cricket grounds were awash with one brand after another.
In Formula 1, it was even more ingrained – ask any aficionado to describe a Lotus, and they will immediately mention the black and gold that made it look like a packet of JPS cigarettes on wheels.
When the cigarettes were banned, they were replaced by beer.
It doesn’t seem long ago that we were talking about the Carling Premiership, and many of the top teams had alcohol-related sponsors in the late 90s.
Last year, these had dwindled to one, and when Everton removed their Chang Beer logos from the shirts, another era had passed.
The online betting age
Given that a major objection to the tobacco and alcohol companies is the wish to avoid promoting smoking and drinking among minors, it might seem strange that betting companies, who operate an industry that is only open to over 18s, are the new primary sponsors. However it seems this mentality has not trickled down to gambling, just yet. A quick look at https://www.bestuscasinos.org/legal/florida/ can provide you with a few details regarding the legal side of this issue. The laws, it seems, are slower to adopt our mortal sensibilities.
It proves just how big a part of modern day sport betting has become, particularly in the online age.
Sports fans love their apps, and the Gambling App Store provides a run down of all the betting apps you can download.
Just a cursory look will show you how many there are to choose from, but some names will draw the eye more than others, due to their familiarity on shirts and stadia across Europe.
And that, in a nutshell, is why these sponsorship deals are so important. So which brands are the biggest sponsors?
It all began in 2002.
When the BetFair logo first appeared on the Fulham shirts, there were some raised eyebrows, but we very soon became accustomed to it.
Little did we know that it would lead to such a huge shift in sponsorship trends.
Today, BetFair is an official Partner of FC Barcelona, having signed a three year deal for an undisclosed sum in 2016.
It’s been an up and down season for The Hammers, but at least their sponsorship deal with Betway is signed and sealed.
The three-year agreement signed in 2015 was worth £20 million, by far the most lucrative in club history.
In 2016, it was extended to run to the 2019/20 season.
Traditionally more associated with the world of snooker, Dafabet has gradually moved into football sponsorship.
In 2016, it signed a deal with Burnley, and last year it announced a ground breaking partnership with Kenya-based Shabana FC, one of the most historic and best-supported teams in African football.
Just to prove it runs both ways – when Everton announced SportPesa as a new sponsor, there were plenty of blank looks.
The company is one of the best known sports betting sites in East Africa, and is looking to get a toehold in the UK market.
What better way than via the shirts of one of the nation’s most popular Premier League teams?