BFS Group Replace Invest In Africa As Club Sponsors

Stu Forster

After some speculation, Sunderland will bear a new shirt sponsor next season in the form of the BFS Group Ltd.

Sunderland's shirt sponsorship deal with the Invest In Africa initiative has come to an end as both parties have called time on the deal before it was due to end, although it's understood that the club will continue to work with IIA on a much smaller and less public scale over the next few years.

This means Sunderland will have a new shirt sponsor next season and have entered into a deal with BFS Group Ltd. The group is part of a larger network of food supplies to the catering industry.

Managed by South African company Bidvest, the BFS Group trades in the UK as the more commonly known 3663. At this stage it's unknown whether 3663 or Bidvest will be the name on the shirt as part of the deal to become 'principle partner' includes shirt sponsorship, as well as significant perimeter advertising around the Stadium Of Light.

The deal will also see Sunderland make more use of their partnership with South African Premier League side Bidvest Wits, discussing coaching player availability and more. Or more likely as we do with Asante Kotoko -- just do nowt with it.

The club will remain in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation too, although whether or not that is significant who knows.

The financial details and length of the partnership are unknown, and people haven't even bothered to make up figures yet, so to get the ball rolling we'll say it's a 6-year deal worth £500m. I really don't know or care, it's just a name and a relatively faceless company at the end of the day.

The decision to release Titus Bramble and take on a food service provider are purely coincidental we're told. I'm sure they are.

Let's face it, this is quite boring news. We're sorry.

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