Everton will be launching a brand new kit for the 2008-09 season but there will be a significant change to the junior versions. Everton will become the first English club to completely strike alcohol sponsorship from their kids shirts. Following a recommendation from the Portman Group, the club has decided that all junior replica jerseys and training range will not carry the name or logo of the main sponsor, Chang.
The Portman Group is supported by the UK's leading drinks producers and is concerned solely with the social responsibility issues surrounding alcohol.
The Group's Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks was introduced in 1996. The Code, which is supported throughout the industry, seeks to ensure that drinks are marketed in a socially responsible way and to an adult audience only.
Everton Chief Executive, Keith Wyness, explained the club’s stance on this issue: "As a Premier League football club we are all too aware of our social responsibility, especially towards our younger supporters, and we are only too pleased to adopt this policy for the new season."
David Poley, Portman Group Chief Executive, added: "Everton is leading the way by becoming the first English club to remove alcohol branding from all children's replica sports shirts.
"No drinks company would deliberately set out to target children, it’s an unwanted side-effect of sports sponsorship. Hopefully, fans will appreciate why the industry does not want children to be viewed as walking billboards for their drinks."
JJB are Everton’s official retail partner and they, too, are fully behind the decision.
"As a High Street family sports retailer, JJB support Everton’s decision to adopt this policy for the forthcoming season," said Neil Ryan, Sports Marketing Manager.
Mr. Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, President of Thai Beverage Public Company Limited, brewer of Chang Beer, commented: "We recognise that under age drinking is an issue in the UK and as a company we are firmly committed to taking an active and responsible role in society.
"Chang Beer is fully supportive of this initiative."