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The strange Italian sponsors of the Israeli Premier League

From Lotto to Legea, from diadora to Givova, via Zeus and FILA

The strange Italian sponsors of the Israeli Premier League From Lotto to Legea, from diadora to Givova, via Zeus and FILA

The Israeli Premier League is certainly not one that lives in the spotlight, but on rare occasions like last night's surprise victory of Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League against Juventus, here is where even the minor leagues gain new interest. And the Israeli league can count on many peculiarities, among which the one that absolutely stands out, at least to our eye is the massive presence of Italian technical sponsors that we do not always see in Serie A. Historical names of ours, from Lotto to diadora, from Givova to Legea, have made some of the kits of the teams present in the top league played in Israel. 

The Israeli Premier League was founded in 1999 - a few years after the English one-replacing Liga Leumit, which became the second division and tried to imitate the big European leagues. Hence the wide variety of technical sponsors called in to make the playing kits of the various teams, as many as 11 for 16 teams, recovering some names we no longer see often on our football fields.

Bnei Sakhnin - Givova

The Scafati-based sportswear company has become a cult object over the years thanks to references to Italian hip hop and a provincial aesthetic, and is a constant presence in our minor leagues. This year, for example, it signs the Reggina's uniforms in Serie B and several Serie C teams, as well as that of Bnei Sakhnin. After making those for the 2019-20 season, Givova has returned to work with the club located in the Arab city of Sakhnin for jerseys that follow the same pattern, a shaded jaquard that is more prominent on the lower part on a single-dye base. 

Hapoel Haifa - diadora 

A historic brand associated with Italian football in the 1980s and 1990s, diadora has not been seen in our league for some time now and has limited its supplies especially to Eastern European and Middle Eastern sports leagues. It could not miss among them a team from the Israeli Premier League, Hapoel Haifa, with which the Italian company has a long-standing agreement if we except the brief interruption for the 2018-19 season. The style throughout the years has remained more or less the same, with black and red vertical stripes dominating the design. 

 Hapoel Jerusalem - Legea

Another Hapoel, this time from the capital, has chosen another Italian company to make its game jerseys after being rebranded in 2020 and being promoted to the top flight the following season. Legea is a brand that has been involved in sportswear with great success for years, here present with a jersey again with red and black vertical stripes. 

Maccabi Bnei Reineh - Zeus

The newly refounded Maccabi Bnei Reineh team has chosen yet another Italian brand, Zeus, as its technical sponsor for the current season. The Campania-based company, which supplies game kits for Salernitana, Crotone and Frosinone, has designed three sets of jerseys with bold patterns between camo and leopard print, using the Israeli team's social colors of yellow, blue and white. 

Maccabi Tel Aviv - FILA

The historic Piedmont-based company FILA, on the other hand, has been the technical sponsor of the Tel Aviv club since 2019, and for this season it has designed the two jerseys by choosing extremely different designs. The first jersey is distinguished with yellow and blue vertical stripes, while the away version features a tone-on-tone striped pattern on the blue and yellow details.

Hapoel Hadera/Maccabi Netanya/Sektzia Ness Ziona - Lotto

Finally, Lotto, which with no less than three sponsored teams is the most active brand in the Israeli Premier League, completes the large group of Italian companies present. While in Serie A the logo with the two overlapping pitches is present only on the jersey of newly promoted Monza, here instead we find it on the suits of Hapoel Hadera, Maccabi Netanya and Sektzia Ness Ziona. A success that testifies to the good work done by the Italian brand and how vital even smaller markets are in the economy of sports brands that are not Nike, adidas or Puma. A business model that tricolor companies have fully embraced if we also consider the impressive presence outside the national borders of other brands such as Erreà, Kappa or Macron.