August 7 – With the war in Ukraine raging and Russian company football sponsorship being cut lose by western leagues and clubs, Croatia’s Hajduk Split has signed a sponsorship deal with the Russian oil company Lukoil.
No term or value was given for the contract which was signed by Arash Repač, executive director of Lukoil Croatia, and Lukša Jakobušić, president of HNK Hajduk.
Lukoil have so far avoided sanctions in Western Europe and have continued to pump oil, particularly into Eastern European nations and former Russian territories like Croatia.
“We are really honored, this is a big day for us. Hajduk is the biggest sports brand in Croatia, we recognise that and we hope that through this cooperation we will realize a lot of quality joint projects. To begin with, through the common loyalty card, which will be available from August 10 at Lukoil gas stations in Split and in all Hajduk Fan Shops, we will provide fans with a special discount and at the same time a financial benefit for the club itself. Thus, the fans will provide the club with additional income through their engagement,” said Repač.
Justifying the sponsorship, a club statement said: “On the market of the Republic of Croatia, Lukoil’s retail network of 46 gas stations ranks 3rd, while it is present in the Split area with 7 excellently positioned gas stations, and in Dalmatia with 17 of them thanks to the quality of the fuel, the rich offer of consumer goods, competitive prices and the friendly service of the employees enjoys great trust from customers and business partners. Lukoil Croatia is a Croatian company in which over 400 Croatian citizens work, while the Company’s parent company is the Swiss LITASCO SA with headquarters in Geneva (Switzerland). Lukoil is a private international energy company, which operates in more than 30 countries around the world and employs more than 100,000 employees.”
Hajduk, president Lukša Jakobušić went further in justification of the deal, saying: “We saw a sincere desire to do something together. Given that I myself come from entrepreneurship, I can understand that this is work, but at Hajduk there is always another component, which is emotion. It is no coincidence that one of the world’s largest oil companies chose Hajduk. I believe this is just the beginning. We are signing the contract in challenging circumstances for Hajduk and Lukoil, for Europe and the world. But that’s why this is significant, because what is signed in difficult times remains permanent.”
For their part the Russian oil company said it was sponsoring humanitarian projects and was striving for the well-being of society, stability and progress.
“We strive for economic growth and the well-being of society, stability and progress in the areas in which we operate, which we have demonstrated so far by supporting and sponsoring a number of humanitarian, cultural and sports projects. We are extremely glad that we and Hajduk recognized our mutual strength and trust and that we started cooperation from which we both expect much more than ordinary sponsorship. Sport is an important part of everyday life and we need to encourage and develop it further, so this sponsorship is one of the ways to support the football club Hajduk, its players, coaches and the club’s management in their intention to achieve the top results that we wish from the bottom of our hearts,” said a Lukoil statement.
And another way to launder an oily reputation through football and its too often grubby morals.
Contact the writer of this story, Aleksander Krassimirov, at moc.l1702263392labto1702263392ofdlr1702263392owedi1702263392sni@o1702263392fni1702263392