State-owned bank Belfius is embarking on a cost-cutting exercise. First on the chopping block is football sponsorship, which it believes “does not pay enough”, according to Belgian newspaper De Standaard.
The bank has decided not to extend sponsorship contracts with both Club Brugge and RSC Anderlecht. For the clubs, this decision will come as a heavy blow and could see the teams miss out on millions in funding.
The two clubs will now be forced to look for new team sponsors. Belfius, and its insurance subsidiary DVV and Candriam, are advertised at both of the top-flight clubs and act as an important publicity boost for the company.
But according to Belfius CEO Marc Raisière, these multi-million euro sponsor contracts have not yielded sufficient results for the bank. “What do we want to save on? We have already decided to stop sponsoring football, both at Anderlecht and Club Brugge. I only want to sponsor sports that bring us enough money. Hockey, for example,” Raisière explained.
National champions Club Brugge currently receive €1 million per year to have Candriam’s branding on the back of their jerseys. This contract is set to expire at the end of next year and will not be renewed. Belfius had previously lent its name to Brugge’s youth academy in Knokke.
- Belgian football rising star Charles De Ketelaere moves to AC Milan
- Belfius at 10: huge profits come at major cost
At Anderlecht, Belfius is the club’s principal sponsor. The logos of Candriam and DVV appear in alternation on the chest of the players’ jerseys and advertising surrounding the pitch. As in Brugge, Belfius lent its name to their youth training complex in Neerpede, which was renamed as the RSCA Belfius Academy.
De Standaard claims that the sponsorship netted Anderlecht €2.5-3 million per year. By 2024, the club will have to find a new replacement sponsor, or risk missing out on this important flow of revenue.