Championship side Ipswich Town announced a new shirt sponsor this week, which might not be headline news were it not for the famous face involved.
A budding local musician by the name of Ed Sheeran (who has sold more than 150 million records worldwide) has agreed a one-year deal to take over as principal sponsor for both the men's and women's teams at Ipswich.
But if you think the name "Sheeran" will be appearing on the front of the shirts, you'd be wrong.
Instead, a logo made up of the mathematical symbols Sheeran uses to distinguish his albums will feature on the club's shirts from the start of the 2021-22 season.
🤝 Our men's and women's first-teams have a new shirt sponsor!— Ipswich Town FC (@IpswichTown) May 6, 2021
Sheeran hails from the Suffolk town of Framlingham, just 15 miles down the road from Ipswich, and in recent years has been spotted regularly at Portman Road supporting the Tractor Boys.
"The club is a big part of the local community and this is my way of showing my support," the 30-year-old told the Ipswich Town website.
Asked what the logo on the shirt actually denotes, Sheeran replied: "All will be revealed in time."
The singer also shared a photograph from his own personal family archive on Instagram, which showed the youngster draped in a classic Ipswich shirt dating from 1997-99.
"It's a huge deal for the club, and I am delighted that we're at this point," said Town's director of sales, Rosie Richardson. "It's something that I've worked on with Ed and his team for a while, and to be able to reveal this is a dream come true for everybody associated with the club. [The sponsorship deal] is worth a significant sum, and it will certainly contribute to helping with the running of the club."
Put it this way: All new signings at Town will have their choice of initiation songs sorted for the foreseeable future.
But this isn't even the first Ipswich jersey that Sheeran has leant his image to either, having previously collaborated with his club to produce a limited-edition shirt in 2019.
Ahead of a run of four homecoming concerts at Chantry Park in Ipswich that summer, a custom Town shirt went on sale with the logo for his "Divide" tour on the front.
It's safe to say that not many professional football clubs can claim to have had one first-team shirt festooned with the name of a Grammy-winning artist, let alone two.
But Sheeran isn't the only musician to sponsor a football team, with the likes of Wet Wet Wet (Clydebank FC), Fatboy Slim (Brighton & Hove Albion), Iron Maiden (West Ham) and fellow metal behemoths Motorhead (Greenbank FC Under-10s) all winding up with their logos on football shirts before.
Wet Wet Wet
1⃣3⃣— FourFourTwo (@FourFourTwo) January 29, 2018
💰 Wet Wet Wet
"Wet Wet Wet arguably started the whole bands sponsoring football teams by pumping some of their pre-Love Is All Around royalties into their hometown team in 1993." pic.twitter.com/QLAKRyhHqh
The 1999-00 Brighton & Hove Albion home shirt is a classic. Skint Record's sponsorship, the record label of the Seagull's most famous fan Fatboy Slim, makes for an iconic combination 🔵⚪️#shirtshackfootball #futebol #futbol #calcio #brighton #bha #championsleague #premierleague pic.twitter.com/jjF58WconW— Shirt Shack Football (@ShirtShackFooty) September 15, 2020
Once interviewed Lemmy when he & Motorhead sponsored Greenbank FC. Deal included shirts with Snaggletooth on. pic.twitter.com/vKhYk3ZEVv— Nick Garnett (@NickGarnettBBC) December 29, 2015
Meanwhile, French giants PSG recently announced another collaboration with a famous face. The club play at Le Parc des Princes, so it's only fitting that music icon Prince (who died in 2016) will be a part of a new apparel line in Paris.
OFFICIAL: PSGxPrince 🟣 pic.twitter.com/KpGXIyR4cR— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) May 7, 2021