PARIS - With stadiums dark, match shirts folded in closets and most players confined at home, football's sponsors have lost all visibility and are growing restless.
European clubs are struggling to offer their 'partners' a return on their investments as sport grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
"We're trying to do activities with our players for our sponsors, who are even more demanding since the lockdown. But it's very complicated because of the health crisis," one club marketing manager told AFP.
The stars, the surest way for sponsors to attract an audience, are at home, many back in their native countries.
Worse, there are no games for them to play. Matches on TV display the brands on the team jerseys or around the pitch to millions of viewers.
At West Ham, one of the sponsors, high-risk finance company Basset & Gold, which the club stresses is not connected with owner David Gold, has just gone bankrupt, blaming the coronavirus crisis.
Many sponsors are in sectors hit especially hard, such as airlines and hotel and restaurant chains. Some sponsors are beginning to cancel payments.(FA)