The Thomson Twins: Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain, 2002-06
Sustained runs in European competition brought Paris Saint-Germain to a wider prominence in the 1990s, coinciding with them entering into a sponsorship deal with Opel at the same time as Bayern Munich and Milan also carried the name of the German car manufacturer.
That partnership came to an end in 2002, while from 2006 PSG have been sponsored by Emirates Airlines, another company that has multiple shirt-advertising arrangements across Europe and beyond. In between, PSG had a sponsor that the casual observer might also think was involved elsewhere but, in fact, it was a case of a shared name and completely different output.
The summer of 2002 saw PSG launch a new strip that once again featured the navy that had been on the 2001-02 home rather than the royal blue that characterised the 1990s for them – the two decades since have seen the darker hue become their colour.
The ‘Hechter’ stripe remained off-centre and the new name across it was that of Thomson, a French multimedia company which had its roots in the General Electric Company (founder Elihu Thomson had emigrated from Manchester to Philadelphia at the age of five in 1853). The contract lasted from 2002 until the end of 2005-06 season.
During the same time period, Tottenham Hotspur also had the name Thomson on their chests, but there was no link between their new sponsor – replacing Holsten, whose second stint had to an end – and PSG’s.
In 1965, the Canadian Thomson Corporation – which had grown from a single daily newspaper into a global media concern – acquired a number of tour operators to merge them and form the Thomson Travel Group. The company was sold to Preussag AG in 2000 and renamed TUI (Touristik Union International) AG in 2002, but the Thomson brand was retained.
It survived the full length of the Tottenham deal – though Spurs fans had a few misgivings about the fact that it was rendered in red, Arsenal’s colour, on their home shirts. The company also began sponsoring German side Hannover 96 in 2002, though only the smiley face part of the logo adorned their shirts for much of the deal, which lasted until 2014.
Tottenham and Thomson parted ways in 2006, but it wasn’t the end of red logos on the Lilywhites’ shirts – new sponsors Mansion had one and, while there would be some respite with Autonomy, Aurasma and the returning Hewlett Packard between 2010 and 2014, AIA’s tenure since has seen their name writ large in scarlet, too.
2 thoughts on “The Thomson Twins: Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain, 2002-06”
Minor observation – the central part of the Spurs collar was navy too
(and the Kappa logo is the wrong way round – don’t ask how I’ve spotted that)
Thanks drizzle, fixed now – I’d also neglected to include a shorts number on the PSG kit!