Our final take for Jersey Week looks at some of Milan's alternate sponsors over the years. AC Milan shirts are well known to feature Opel, bwin or Fly Emirates over the past 25 years but there have been a number of one time or short time sponsors. The likes of Meriva in 2003/04 and Zafira in 2005/06 are excluded as the spanned a full season. Here's a look at the unique alternate sponsors:
ASTRA - 1997/98
For the second half of the 1997/98 season AC Milan switched from their usual Opel sponsor logo on the jerseys to advertise their Astra F line of vehicles. The Astra replaced Opel under the lightning bolt logo on both the home and away shirts for the 1998 portion of the season but was only worn in the league. The German manufacturer took advantage of the hype around the new arrivals to the Milan side that included the likes of Zvonimir Boban, Leonardo and Patrick Kluivert to release an additional line of shirts. Milan had a disastrous season though as the Kluivert experiment flopped and Weah finished as top scorer. Milan finished the season in 10th place playing their first season in over a decade without the leadership of Franco Baresi.
CORSA - 2000/01
Milan wore the Corsa sponsor instead of Opel during the 2000/01 season where the alternate print was used when Milan faced opponents who were also sponsored by Opel. This came into play in the Champions League when Milan faced PSG in the group stages. The Rossoneri wore the Corsa sponsor when playing away in Paris whilst PSG wore the Corsa in Milan. The sponsor maintained the iconic lightning bolt of the German company but took the opportunity to advertise the company’s range of Corsa C vehicles. Milan drew the game 1-1 with a goal in additional time from Jose Mari.
WIN.COM - 2009/10
Similarly in the 2009/10 season, Milan ran into the same situation with Real Madrid as both clubs were sponsored by the betting company Bwin. The teams were in the group stages together hence, Milan in the first game at the Bernabeu wore ‘win.com’ in place of ‘bwin’ on their home shirt in a thrilling 3-2 victory dominated by the theatrics of Ronaldinho and the finishing of Pato. The ‘win.com’ was a strong white presence on the shirt that paired well with the white collar creating a stunning shirt. In the reverse fixture Madrid wore the ‘win.com’ at the San Siro in a 1-1 draw.
阿联酋航空 - 2017/18
The summer of 2017 was a crazy one for AC Milan as the clubs new Chinese owners were going berserk on the transfer market spending a humongous 200 million euros on over 10 players including huge capture of Leonardo Bonucci. Milan played in the International Champions Cup in China and perhaps to appeal to their widening fanbase in the country featured an alternate sponsor during a match in Guangzhou. Milan’s usual ‘Fly Emirates’ was replaced by ‘Emirates Airlines’ but in Chinese thus ‘ 阿联酋航空 ‘. The shirt was a one off in a 3-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund where Milan were negotiating for Pierre Emerick Aubameyang to join the club but ultimately failed.
EMIRATES: Fly Better - 2019/20
2019/20 was the 120th anniversary of the founding of the Milan Football and Cricket Club by Herbert Kilpin. The club management along with Puma and Emirates took the opportunity to launch a capsule collection to commemorate the occasion. The centre piece was a limited edition commemorative home shirt that would featured gold printed logos and sponsors. Emirates took the opportunity to switch up their logo from the usual ‘Fly Emirates’ to ‘Emirates: Fly Better’ perhaps as a precursor to the coming season. Milan released only 1,899 shirts to the public and wore the shirt in the Serie A match against Sassuolo at the San Siro that ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
Which is the Best Alternate Sponsor?
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Emirates: Fly Better