English soccer club Ipswich Town have announced the signing of Grammy-winning musician Ed Sheeran as the club's new shirt sponsor. The move was made official in an announcement released Wednesday. Sheeran is a boyhood fan of the club and will be represented in the men's and women's first-team kits. The release calls the 30-year-old "an era-defining artist" and notes his record for "the most-attended tour of all-time."
Ipswich Town is currently in EFL League One, the third tier of English football.
"The Football Club is a big part of the local community and this is my way of showing my support," Sheeran said in a statement. "I have always enjoyed my trips to Portman Road and I'm looking forward to going back there as soon as supporters are allowed into stadiums again.
"With the new owners from the US coming in, there are sure to be exciting times ahead for Ipswich fans, including myself. Hopefully we can stop being sloightly on the huh!"
Where the artist makes an interesting departure from a recent trend among English soccer fans is his open arms welcoming of American ownership into the club. The tone among supporters of Premier League teams with American owners was a lot more critical over the last couple weeks in the wake of the European Super League's announcement, and collapse shortly afterwards.
On a more whimsical note, the announcement provided the opportunity for some on social media to create some horrifying edits of the jersey featuring the new sponsor's mug.
There was also an edit poking fun at the club as a whole, and it actually gives a real glimpse of what the kit will look like, save for the "= 0-0" bit.
Ipswich Town currently sits ninth in the League One standings, six points behind a promotion playoff spot.