2021 Africa Cup of Nations Sponsors: kits, star players and tournament
Cameroon will host the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) from January 9th till February 6th, 2022. But who wears what during Africa’s continental competition? Which apparel brands are dominating during the tournament?
Below we answer these questions by giving you an overview of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations kit sponsors. We also take a look at several star players and the tournament’s official partners.
Note: This article is subject to changes when new deals are announced.
Kit sponsors: 24 nations, 16 brands
There are 16 different apparel brands sponsoring the 24 nations participating in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. That is two more than during the 2019 edition, while the 2017 tournament had only 11 different brands.
Puma main supplier
Puma is the main supplier with five nations. In other words, over 20 percent of the nations participating wears Puma. That is the same amount as during the previous edition. Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Senegal will all play with the German brand.
At the beginning of 2019, Puma took over from Adidas as official supplier of the Egyptian national team. Just in time for the 2019 edition. Morocco also switched from Adidas to Puma, but only at the end of the same year. Both nations already wore Puma in the past.
Sierra Leone one of three nations wearing Umbro
British company Umbro supplies three nations: Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. In 2020, the brand announced a four-year deal with Sierra Leone starting in 2021. The Leone Stars became the ninth African nation to join Umbro’s roster according to the press release at the time.
4 brands sponsor multiple nations
In addition to Puma and Umbro, there are two more apparel brands sponsoring multiple nations during the 2021 tournament. Adidas and Kappa each sponsor two nations. Adidas sponsors Sudan and defending champions Algeria. While Italian brand Kappa outfits Tunesia and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Gabon.
Mix of brands sponsoring one nation
Twelve other brands supply only one nation. And it is a mix of major and small apparel brand. For instance, American giants Nike sponsors Nigeria. While host nation Cameroon will play in Le Coq Sportif kits.
There are also small, (relatively) unknown brands. Tovio for example. The Burkinabé brand supplies their national team Burkina Faso. Or Moto for Malawi. An initiative of the Football Federation of Malawi to have a home-grown supplier, after encountering problems with previous international suppliers. It should especially make it more realistic to offer affordable replica jerseys to all fans.
Kit sponsors at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations
|A||Cameroon||Le Coq Sportif|
Battle of the brands among star players
When looking at some star players set to play at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, we see that they are all sponsored by the market’s major brands. Riyad Mahrez and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wear the latest Nike boots.
New Balance sponsors Africa Player of the Year 2019 Sadio Mané. While Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah and winner of the same award in 2017 and 2018, is sponsored by Adidas. Champions League top scorer Sébastian Haller dons Puma boots.
Sponsors star players
|Franck Kessié||Ivory Coast||AC Milan||Adidas|
|Sadio Mané||Senegal||Liverpool||New Balance|
|Sébastian Haller||Ivory Coast||Ajax||Puma|
|Riyad Mahrez||Algeria||Manchester City||Nike|
|Wilfred Ndidi||Nigeria||Leicester City||Nike|
7 last champions wore Adidas, Nike or Puma
The last seven Africa Cup of Nations champions all wore one of the three largest sports apparel brands: Puma, Adidas or Nike. Puma partnered Egypt during the nation’s successful runs in both 2008 and 2010. The German brand also supplied 2015 champions Ivory Coast and Cameroon when they won the 2017 edition.
When Nigeria won in 2013, the Super Eagles wore Adidas kits. Just like Algeria did when winning the last edition. While 2012 champions Zambia wore Nike kits during their successful campaign that year.
Kit sponsors previous Africa Cup of Nations winners
2021 Africa Cup of Nations official sponsors
Since 2017 oil and gas company TotalEnergies is the title sponsor of Africa’s international competition. Therefore, the tournament is also known as the TotalEnergies 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
In addition to the title sponsor, the tournament lists four official sponsors. First, telecommunications’ company Orange. The company partnered with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) back in 2008 and signed an eight-year extension in 2016. The current deal involves sponsorship of five CAF tournaments, including the Africa Cup of Nation for both men and women.
In November 2018, CAF announced that financial services multinational Visa would sponsor the 2019 and 2021 editions of the tournament. As part of deal, Visa is the exclusive payment service provider at all the tournament venues and the preferred payment option for buying tickets.
Tire manufacturer Continental and betting firm 1xBet both came on board in 2019. Continental signed a five-year agreement with the federation focusing mainly on the Africa Cup of nations of 2019, 2021 and 2023. While Russian company 1xBet also sponsors three CAF club competitions.
Although Umbro is not listed as official partner, the tournament ball ‘Toghu’ is made by the British sports brand.
2021 Official Tournament Partners
|Visa||Official sponsor||Financial services|
Challenges ahead of 2021 AFCON
The tournament organisation encountered several obstacles in the run up to the actual event. And with the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, it is still a challenging situation for the organisers.
Initially, Ivory Coast would host the 2021 Africa Cup of Nation during June/July of 2021. It was then decided that Cameroon would take over as host after the nation got stripped of the 2019 edition due to infrastructure challenges and political unrest. Ivory Coast and Guinea will now host the 2023 and 2025 editions respectively.
Due to the heat, CAF also decided to reschedule the event to January/February. In other words, back to the pre-2019 format. Better climate conditions, but in the middle of major (European) club competitions.
Finally, the pandemic caused the organisers to postpone the tournament by one year. So the 2021 edition will now take place at the beginning of 2022.