One of the things I’ve learned fairly early on in the journey that is parenting is that kids tend to want something more if it’s not available to them. With my sons, this becomes particularly apparent when one is playing with a particular toy: that toy seems to often become the most desirable object in the world to the one who doesn’t have it.

Next weekend will see the start of a new football season. For 2013/14, my beloved Watford have a new shirt sponsor- an online gaming company. Presumably because of some legal reason, replica shirts this season in children’s sizes don’t carry the sponsors’ logo. I do wonder if this will actually make the brand even more impressionable on the minds of kids who follow the club? That the replica shirts don’t come as complete facsimiles of the ones their heroes play in will make the brand even more desirable?

I know that I can name all of the clubs’ sponsors since the yellow shirt first carried the name Iveco back in the early 80s. They stick with me, even if the brands themselves are long-departed.

This makes me think a few things: should over-18 (gaming and booze in particular) brands be allowed as shirt sponsors at all? What can marketing and brands learn from the idea of intentionally not plastering their logos everywhere? And what is the impact of making grand statements about banning things (like, say, internet porn) on the minds of technically savvy teenagers?

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