We are all familiar with the fact that a top division player wearing brandless black boots means that his previous contract has expired and that he is putting himself in the market for a new contract. What is less usual is to see referees doing the same. This is what surprised me when recently watching LaLigaâ€™s Sevilla derbi, with referee Estrada FernÃ¡ndez wearing black boots like Sergio Ramos instead of the traditional Adidas outfit linked to sponsorship deal with Spanish Football Federation.
As a sports marketeer, I have always thought that sponsoring a referee would probably not be a good idea, considering the controversial way they can be featured in the media. In fact, fans blame the referees big time when they take the wrong decision (or even the right decision if going against their interests), while I have a tough time seeing them being hailed by the fans when their decisions go their way. (mÃ¡s…)