The A-League has kicked back off for the 2012/13 season, but instead of focusing on club kits, an interesting development in sponsorship of managers has caught my eye. Last night’s Melbourne Victory-Adelaide United match at the Etihad Stadium featured both of the league’s sponsored managers. Both Ange Postecoglou of the Victory and John Kosmina of Adelaide wear club sponsorships on their shirt collars. Below is a breakdown of each manager in the A-League:
Adelaide United – John Kosmina
Kosmina was brought back to Adelaide in December 2011, having previously served as the Reds’ manager from 2003-07 (with a spell at Sydney FC in between). Early in his return, before Christmas, Kosmina did not have sponsors adorning his collars. Four weeks later, Kosmina had Bird in Hand winery’s logo affixed to his collar. Bird in Hand were an official club sponsor in 2011/12, but are no longer. With the 2012/13 season now underway, Kosmina has sported a Piteo Design word mark on his collar. Piteo Design is an architectural firm but does not appear on the club’s official sponsors page. Could this be an individual sponsorship for Kosmina? Or has the sponsors page just not been updated to reflect Piteo Design?
Brisbane Roar – Rado Vidošić
Vidošić took over at Brisbane when Ange Postecoglou departed after last season’s Grand Final, having been an assistant with the club since 2006. Unlike his predecessor, whom we’ll come to shortly, Vidošić keeps mostly covered up in a track suit jacket. His first task was to lead the Roar in the Asian Champions League in May. By the time the 2012/13 A-League season began earlier this month, Vidošić donned the same jacket, covering any possible views of his collar. Given the exposure sponsors surely require when signing on, it is safe to say Vidošić is not currently sponsored.
Central Coast Mariners – Graham Arnold
Just as Arnold prefers to eschew the A-League’s Marquee Player system, the traditionalist keeps his attire clear of any sponsorships. Here is Arnold in the 2011/12 semi-final and here he is in Round 1 of 2012/13.
Melbourne Heart – John Aloisi
The youngest manager in the A-League, Aloisi is in his first year leading Melbourne Heart after John van ‘t Ship left for Mexico. Whether Aloisi learned anything from van ‘t Ship is yet to be determined, but he has copied his predecessor’s lack of sponsorship.
Melbourne Victory – Ange Postecoglou
The most involved manager in the sponsorship scheme, Postecoglou has brought not only his vision for the ideal footballing system to Melbourne but also his penchant for wearing his club’s sponsorships on his collar. In his three weeks in charge of the Victory, Postecoglous has already sported two different Oliana Foods logos. The company is an official club sponsor and is the change kit sponsor, as well. Back in Brisbane, Postecoglou showed off the Roar’s Luxury Paints sponsorship with at least two different logos in 2011/12. Luxury Paints is a long-time sponsor of football in Queensland, and though no longer an official sponsor, the local company continues to aid The Den, Brisbane’s supporters group, in the creation of tifo and remains the name of Queensland Lions Football Club’s ground in Richlands. In his first full season in Brisbane, 2010/11, Postecoglou did not feature a sponsor. Perhaps the advertising interest changed when the Roar started to win A-League titles.
Newcastle Jets – Gary van Egmond
The former Jets manager returned to the touchline early in the 2011/12 season. He has been wearing suits since his return, but has not featured sponsorships thus far. In his first stint at Newcastle, van Egmond preferred polos and track suits.
Perth Glory – Ian Ferguson
Like Graham Arnold, Ferguson is a no-nonsense guy when it comes to on-field attire. Here is in 2010/11, 2011/12 and now in 2012/13. Not much difference, and no sponsorships at any point.
Sydney FC – Ian Crook
The former Norwich City stalwart returns to first team managerial duties for the first time since his 2001-04 run at Newcastle Jets. Crook is another manager who must not have any sponsorships on his collars, given his choices of outerwear during this season’s first two rounds.
Wellington Phoenix – Ricki Herbert
The only manager in the A-League with two jobs (he is also New Zealand’s national team manager), Herbert is often well dressed. However, he does not seem to wear any sponsorships on his shirts. Here he is in 2010/11 and again in 2011/12.
Western Sydney Wanderers – Tony Popovic
After a spell as caretaker manager of Sydney FC in 2009, Popovic was named the first ever manager of the Wanderers. To date, he has not worn any sponsorships, though both the season and the club’s history are young.