Following are the companies and organisations that serve as sponsors and brand partners to the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL), a collective consisting of the top four divisions of the Scottish football pyramid — the Premiership, the Championship, the League One and the League Two — and enjoy a strong branding presence across its physical and digital assets.
The Farnham, Surrey-based British online car retailer was announced as the title sponsor of all four tiers of the SPFL in June 2021 on a five-year deal set to run until the end of the 2025-26 season.
The deal, reportedly worth £1.6m a season—which is split amongst the 42 member clubs across all four tiers of the SPFL—sees the League’s four tiers thusly called the cinch Premiership (first tier), the cinch Championship (second tier), the cinch League 1 (third tier) and the cinch League 2 (fourth tier).
However, one of the SPFL’s clubs, Rangers FC, have taken issue with the cinch sponsorship of the league since the deal’s announcement due to their pre-existing commercial engagements. Hence, they neither wear the cinch logo on their kits, nor is the cinch branding visible at their home ground during league matches, and they also don’t name a Man of the Match for their league matches, because it is also sponsored by cinch.
The Louisville, Kentucky-headquartered American pizzeria chain was announced as the Official Delivery and Takeaway Partner of the SPFL in October 2020.
Currently set to run until the end of the 2022-23 season, the deal covers all four tiers of the SPFL as well as Scotland’s cup competitions — the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup.
Apart from branding rights, the deal entails exclusive offers and experience opportunities for SPFL fans, with the partnership also integrated into the SPFL’s free-to-play online game, Scottish Football Score Predictor.
In December 2020, The Loch Lomond Group and the SPFL signed a deal that made the former’s vodka brand, Glen’s Vodka, an Official Partner and “The Spirit of the Scottish Professional Football League” in a deal set to run until the end of the 2022-23 season.
Apart from the usual branding rights, Glen’s Vodka also serves as the presenting sponsor to the SPFL’s Manager of the Month and Manager of the Season awards.
At the time of the deal’s announcement, there was some pushback given Glen’s Vodka’s alcoholic nature, but the brand remains a part of the SPFL’s sponsorship portfolio.
In April 2021, Premier Sports and the SPFL signed a two-season deal making the former the title sponsor of the Scottish League Cup, which is since thusly known as the Premier Sports Cup.
Along with the announcement of the Scottish League Cup’s title sponsorship, Premier Sports also announced the extension of its broadcasting deal for the competition, making the Irish sports channel the exclusive broadcaster of the Scottish League Cup until the end of the 2026-27 season.
The Isleworth-headquartered British sports channels network has been a long-time broadcaster of the Scottish Premiership. In November 2018, it was announced that Sky Sports would become the exclusive broadcaster of the Scottish Premiership, broadcasting up to 48 matches per season in a five-year deal worth £150 million that would kick off with the start of the 2020-21 season.
In June 2020, after the 2019-20 Premiership season was curtailed because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Sky Sports and the SPFL confirmed the commencement of their deal, with the Premiership set to return in August 2020. All 12 clubs from the Premiership were allowed to offer “virtual season tickets” to their fans for the 2020-21 Premiership season, via which they could digitally access their club’s home matches at a time when games were being played behind closed doors.
The rebate that was to be made by the Premiership’s clubs to Sky Sports for the cancelled matches of the 2019-20 Premiership season was also part of the five-year agreement, according to which Premiership clubs were allowed to spread their due amounts over the five-year period to ease off some of the financial burden on them that was further accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April 2021, as discussions went on in the UK regarding the return of fans to the stadia, Sky Sports and the SPFL confirmed that the “virtual” framework would remain in place for the 2021-22 Premiership season, with clubs allowed to offer “virtual season tickets” to their fans for their home matches, while also being able to offer feeds of any home game not broadcast on Sky on a pay-per-view basis.
Apart from broadcasting 48 live matches throughout a Premiership season (including end-season play-offs), Sky also holds rights to a goal highlights package from every week that is broadcast on Saturdays on Sky Sports News.
The Glasgow-headquartered Scottish arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation is the official broadcaster of the Scottish Championship. Apart from broadcasting live Championship matches in a Friday-night slot, this partnership between the BBC and the SPFL also includes a highlights package for the Scottish Premiership.
In November 2018, the BBC extended its partnership with the SPFL to cover the Scottish Premiership and Championship until 2025, with live telecasts of Championship matches set to commence in early 2019.
Co-owned by the BBC and Stornoway, Isle of Lewis-headquartered Gaelic Media Service, BBC Alba is a free-to-air Scottish Gaelic-language channel. It has been a long-time partner of the SPFL, providing telecasts of its competitions in Scottish Gaelic.
The last extension of the partnership between BBC Alba and the SPFL was announced in June 2017 as part of a “new and improved” deal. The announcement stated that BBC Alba would provide deferred telecasts of 38 Scottish Premiership matches and live telecasts of four Scottish Championship matches, two matches each from the Scottish League One and the Scottish League Two, and five matches from the Scottish Challenge Cup (then called the IRN-BRU Cup; now called the SPFL Trust Trophy).
The SPFL Trust is a Scottish charity based out of Hampden Park, Glasgow that works with SPFL clubs and their Associated Community Trusts (ATCs) over community projects.
In October 2020, the SPFL Trust was announced as the new title sponsor of the SPFL Challenge Cup or Scottish Challenge Cup, a cup competition for lower-league football clubs in Scotland (also featuring U21 teams from the Scottish Premiership), which would be rebranded as the SPFL Trust Trophy.
Originally, this deal was supposed to commence in the 2020-21 season, but that season’s Scottish Challenge Cup was cancelled by the participating clubs on the account of no fans being allowed inside the stadia at the time. The sponsorship was thus rolled over to the next (2021-22) season.
However, despite the competition’s cancellation in the 2020-21 season, the SPFL Trust—with help from a philanthropist named James Anderson and a second anonymous donor—was able to provide a funding pot of £252,000 to lower-league SPFL clubs, with support also pledged for the 2021-22 season when the tournament would actually be played again. Each club from the Championship, the League One and the League Two and their ATCs were allowed to reach out to the SPFL Trust to apply for a grant of £4,200 each.
Apart from funding, the SPFL Trust also leverages the sponsorship to promote other major community initiatives, including Football Fans in Training, Scottish Football United, The Changing Room, 4-4-2 Reading Challenge, A-Team, and United To Prevent Suicide.
The Wakefield-headquartered British sports equipment manufacturer has been supplying footballs to the top end of Scottish football since 1998.
In January 2019, the SPFL announced an extension of its long-standing partnership with Mitre in a new four-year agreement, retaining Mitre as the Official Match Ball Supplier to all tiers of the SPFL until the end of the 2022-23 season.
Part of the Flex Dev Group, Sporting iD is a sports branding company that manufactures and supplies “licensed names, numbers and sleeve badges”. An official partner of the SPFL, Sporting iD is based in Cork, Republic of Ireland.
Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC)
SRtRC is a British charity that focuses on educating the general population about what racism is, what it entails, and how one can go about reducing it in society. Operating across the UK alongside major british footballing institutions, SRtRC carries out both on- and off-field community initiatives to take a strong stance against racial discrimination.
The partnership between the Redwood City, California-based sports video games developing and publishing division of Electronic Arts and Scotland’s top-flight of football predates the founding of the SPFL. For well over a decade, Scotland’s first tier of football features in EA Sports’ yearly renditions of its football simulation game FIFA, boasting a complete roster of teams with licensed names, kits, crests and player names.
From 2018 to 2021, Celtic FC and Rangers FC, two giants of the Scottish Premiership, featured in PES 2019, 2020 and 2021—the last one being a “season update” for the 2020 instalment—with fully licensed club names, stadia, crests, and players (with real names and 3D-scanned faces).
PES (Pro Evolution Soccer) was a series of annually-released football simulation games released by Japanese video game developer KONAMI. In July 2021, Konami announced a complete overhaul of PES, which has now become a cross-platform, free-to-play game called eFootball. So far, no SPFL club is licensed in the game.
The partnership between the SPFL and SEGA, a Shinagawa, Tokyo-based Japanese video game company, grants the latter licence to feature the former’s leagues and cup competitions (cinch Scottish Premiership, cinch Scottish Championship, cinch Scottish League One, cinch Scottish League Two, Scottish League Cup and Scottish Challenge Cup) in Football Manager.
Football Manager is a series of annually-released football management simulation video games developed by London-based video game company Sports Interactive and published by SEGA.
The SPFL’s partnership with Google’s flagship video sharing platform sees Scottish Premiership matches made available to stream online via YouTube TV, YouTube’s premium online TV streaming offering, while the SPFL’s official YouTube channel exclusively offers highlights from its other tiers including the Premiership.
Stonewall Scotland is a Scottish non-profit organisation working for the rights of the LGBTQ+ people. Since November 2017, the SPFL, along with the Scottish Football Association (SFA), has been an avid supporter of the Stonewall Scotland cause and all of its community initiatives in hopes of promoting societal inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ people by making football more inclusive for them.
The British division of the multinational collectibles manufacturer has held the licence for making SPFL-themed collectibles since 2017.
Soccer Manager 2022
The SPFL is an official partner of Soccer Manager 2022, the latest football management simulation game offering of UK-based video game company Soccer Manager Ltd.