In a surprise development, the utilities company E.ON has decided to continue sponsoring the FA Cup, although a decision was announced in September 2009 that the company will not be involved with the tournament this year, reports euFootball.BIZ. The new one year contract, said to be worth £10 million, makes E.ON the sponsor until May 2011 of the FA Cup, FA Women's Cup, The FA Youth Cup and it will also continue to be FA Schools partner.
In September E.ON had spoken of a "change in sponsorship strategy" although it had said it would keep its "options open. At that time the Football Association had said that it will be "taking the FA Cup sponsorship opportunity to the open market".
E.ON, which has been a FA Cup sponsor for four years, has focused on promoting its green commitment to football fans. It has run a "Carbon Footyprint" campaign which is about trying to offset the 45,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide produced by those participating in the World Cup with the aim of making the tournament carbon neutral.
Making the recent announcement sponsorship promotions executive of E.ON Alex Howells said: "Following four very successful seasons as FA Cup sponsor, we can today announce that we've agreed a one-year extension to our sponsorship of The FA Cup.
"The deal allows us to continue our involvement in football at all levels of the game, as we also continue our position as Sponsor of The FA Women's Cup, The FA Youth Cup and The FA Schools Partner.
It's also a deal that also works for both parties. Our sponsorship of The FA Cup has played a key part in establishing the E.ON business within the UK and we are looking forward to continuing our relationship with The FA from the very first kick next season."