English musician Ed Sheeran has become the new sponsor of Ipswich Town, inking a deal to act as the front-of-shirt sponsor of the men and women’s first-teams for the duration of the 2021/22 season.
The singer-songwriter, who was raised in Suffolk and supports the EFL League One club, has pledged his support to his boyhood team, with players’ jerseys to feature mathematical symbols from his first album, along with the word ‘tour’.
Ipswich, which was taken over by American investor group Gamechanger 20 for a fee believed to be around £40 million at the beginning of last month, sit ninth in the third-tier rankings after failing to reach the play-offs for a second consecutive season in a row since relegation from the Championship.
“The football club is a big part of the local community and this is my way of showing my support,” Sheeran explained. “I have always enjoyed my trips to Portman Road and I’m looking forward to going back there as soon as supporters are allowed into stadiums again.
“With the new owners from the US coming in, there are sure to be exciting times ahead for Ipswich fans, including myself.”
Four-time Grammy-winning artist Sheeran relocated to the market town of Framlingham, just outside of Ipswich as a child from his hometown of Halifax, West Yorkshire, and has made regular appearances at Portman Road, playing four concerts in Ipswich at the end of his 2019 tour.
In sponsoring the team, Sheeran added that ‘all will be revealed’ in regards to the mysterious shirt design.
Ipswich Town’s Director of Sales, Rosie Richardson, noted: “We are obviously thrilled that Ed has agreed to become our shirt sponsor next season.
“I have worked with Ed and his management team on various initiatives over the years and welcomed Ed and his guests to Portman Road for many games. He has shown his support for his hometown in lots of ways and this is another example of that.
“We look forward to seeing Ed – and every other supporter – back at Portman Road next season.”
However, the 30-year-old is not the first famous musician to sponsor their favourite football club. Most notably, Scottish rock band Wet Wet Wet sponsored Clydebank for a period in the 1990s whilst Fatboy Slim’s label partnered with Brighton and Hove Albion for a spell during the early 2000s.
More recently, Notts County’s away strip currently adorn the name of Nottingham-born Jake Bugg, whilst English rock band The Libertines sponsors Kent-based non-league club Margate FC.