World Football: League Cup Changes Sponsor Once Again

David JacobsCorrespondent IJune 4, 2012

Eight-time title winners Liverpool are overwhelmed at the news...
Eight-time title winners Liverpool are overwhelmed at the news...Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Old news I know, but it's once again annoyed me that the Football League Cup is changing sponsor from Carling to Capital One, a credit card company.

The Football League Cup has gone through a ton of names since its inception:

Period             Sponsor                                           Name

1960–1982 No main sponsor                         Football League Cup
1982–1986 Dairy Crest                                         Milk Cup
1986–1990 Littlewoods                               Littlewoods Challenge Cup
1990–1992 Rumbelows                                     Rumbelows Cup
1992–1998 Coca-Cola                                        Coca-Cola Cup
1998–2003 Worthington's                               Worthington Cup
2003–2012 Molson Coors                                    Carling Cup
                                                                  Mickey Mouse Cup*
                                                                       Tin Pot Cup*
2012–2016 Capital One                                   Capital One Cup

*2008 - Present: Informally known to fans by either of those two names. Both widely accepted names amongst Premier League fanbases.

Rumoured to be re-named 'Two Teams One Cup' or even the 'Ballina Cup'.

What kind of sales increase are Capital One expecting to achieve by desperately trying to pull in customers who, if they didn't realise, are trying to pay off their LAST credit card?

Five of the top six Premiership teams don't really care about it. They are evidently reluctant to put in a strong starting XI (unless of course they get knocked out of the FA Cup and Premier League title race where all of a sudden it's worth-winning again).

In truth, the League Cup was only established as an excuse to test new floodlights in football stadia.

The name '[Insert company] Cup' doesn't even roll off the tongue properly. If you can say each one of the League Cup's sponsored titles without cringing, you are a braver person than me.

The companies' ideals behind putting their name to a cup, stadium, stand or even a team shirt remain just as cynical as they've always been. I feel that they have a mindset that once someone sees their logo on everything at their club, they'll drop everything just to buy into their products/services.

I even got annoyed when presenters of FA Cup coverage had to say 'The FA Cup...' and then add on 'sponsored by E-ON' and then later 'with Budweiser'. It's just an obstruction to what most fans find important, and that's the upcoming match, rather than their choice of beer or
energy provider (whom for all the profits they make from high bills, still need to pull in customers...?).

This is what sponsors of sports events think we think:

"WOW, COOL, SUPER, SMASHIN', GREAT, Capital One are sponsoring the cup now. I'm going to cancel ALL my other credit cards with MasterCard and Visa just so I can sign up to Capital One.

"They really do connect to me and speak to me now that they've plastered their name all over this cup in football, the sport I love so much and watch so often while drinking my Carling Lager and betting on the score at ESPN's sponsor Bet365 (as William Hill's odds didn't come on
until about 45 seconds before kick-off and by then it would have been too late) with the money stored in my Barclays bank account, which I keep at the bank I drive to using the Ford car sponsoring Sky Sports' live coverage which will be reported in scoreline form on Sky Sports News, by which time I'll be back at home, sitting in my armchair watching it while sniffing my armpits which have been sprayed with Sure For Men deodorant."

What we REALLY think:

"I'm actually not attracted to a credit card deal with this company at all. Why are these companies using actual trophy names as a corporate vehicle? They should buy advertising space in the newspaper, on the banners stuck around the edges of our stadiums or on TV like everyone else.

Why do they continuously put it in our faces, when we're trying to escape into the simple weekend pleasures of watching the footy, drinking and celebrating in a homoerotic fashion when our team scores?

Frankly, I and other fans already have the product/service you are offering in one form or another. Apologies if it's not with/from your company but c'est la vie..."

Will there ever again be a time where corporations who show very little outward interest in the sport leave these once credible trophies alone? I believe they should invest money in another form of advertising. Or better still, form a company football team and WIN it. They can then have the company's name engraved on it for nothing!