1. ITV Report

Birmingham City's Nicolite deal: Five other controversial sponsorships

Voukefalas chose a brothel to sponsor their kit for this season Photo: AP/PA


Newcastle Utd's sponsorship with Wonga kicks in this year Credit: Steve Drew/EMPICS Sport

Despite promising to revert the club's stadium name back to St. James's Park, Wonga's four year deal with Newcastle has caused outrage in the North East.

Although there is nothing illegal about Wonga's business, the company's decision to charge 4,214% APR on their payday loans has been widely criticised.

The controversy has not been ignored by the players with star striker, and practicing Muslim, Papiss Cisse refusing to wear the sponsor's name on his shirt. Under Sharia Law Muslims are forbidden from benefiting from loans.


The National Rifle Association's sponsorship of the Sprint Cup race has caused controversy Credit: Olivier Douliery/

With American gun laws being widely debated, NASCAR caused controversy with their decision to allow the National Rifle Association to sponsor April's NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Texas.

The sponsorship move came weeks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

The race itself was overshadowed by tragedy when a 42 year-old man shot himself whilst in the infield of the race.


Lionel Messi will be wearing shirts sponsored by Qatar Airways from next season Credit: Henri Szwarc/ABACAPRESS. COM

Barcelona fans have long been proud of their club's refusal to wear a corporate logo but 112 years of history were ignored as the board agreed for Qatar Airways to appear on their shirts from next season.

As part of a reported five year £125m deal with Qatar Sports Investments the Doha-state run airline replaces The Qatar Foundation, which provided funding for health and education projects.

Barcelona have previously worn shirts sponsored by charity UNICEF with this being the first corporate sponsor.


Man Utd ended their sponsorship with AIG in 2010. Credit: PA

Manchester Utd's partnership with insurance company AIG caused controversy, and a number of online jokes, when AIG were forced to accept a $150bn bail-out from the American government.

The All Blacks also confirmed a five-and-a-half year deal with the company in October last year despite their troubles. It was only the team's second sponsor in their history with it being the first time a logo (a white one at that) would be emblazoned across the middle of the black jersey,

The All Blacks agreed a multi-year sponsorship with AIG in October 2012 Credit: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport


Voukefalas' players training in their new kit Credit: AP/PA

Struggling with debt, Greek amateur club Voukefalas has found a new way to pay the bills with help from a profession which is illegal in a number of countries.

The players this season wore pink shirts emblazoned with the logos of the Villa Erotica and Soula's House of History, a pair of brothels recruited to sponsor the team after drastic government spending cuts left the country's sports organizations facing ruin.

Voukefalas were not the only Greek side to choose a questionable sponsorship. One team signed a deal with a local funeral home and others wooed kebab shops, a jam factory, and producers of feta cheese.