BNP Paribas Fortis and the RSC Anderlecht soccer club have agreed to end their existing sponsorship contract.

When the next soccer season kicks off, the name BNP Paribas Fortis and the celebrated green logo will have disappeared from the RSCA team jerseys, marking the end of an era. Belgium’s largest bank has been the main sponsor to RSC Anderlecht uninterruptedly since the early 80s.

Between 1981 and 1999, the big letter G of Generale Bank adorning the team shirts almost became the club’s symbol. Following the merger between Generale Bank and ASLK, the new name FORTIS appeared on the team kit on 2 April 2000.

After Fortis joined the BNP Paribas Group in 2009, the Bank still continued to sponsor RSCA under the name BNP Paribas Fortis. Shirt sponsorship of the club with the most title victories in this country enabled the Bank to significantly boost recognition of each of those three brands among the Belgian public.

A unique, 39-year sponsoring relationship

RSC Anderlecht achieved its greatest successes over the last 39 years with the Bank as its main sponsor. Although shirt sponsorship was still not authorised for European soccer competitions in 1983, the Purple-and-Whites recorded their last European trophy win – the 1983 UEFA cup – with the backing of Generale Bank. Then, with the name Fortis on the jerseys, the club had a brilliant run in the Champions League in the year 2000. In total, this unrivalled sponsoring relationship also led to 17 Belgian titles and four national cup victories.

Watch this video showing the highlights of the last 39 years.

In recent years, BNP Paribas Fortis has also partnered, via the Hello bank! brand, with the RSCA Women’s team and the club’s eSports section.

RSC Anderlecht is grateful to BNP Paribas Fortis not only for its long-standing loyalty to the club, but also for its openness and honest attitude to the partnership.

Michael Anseeuw, a BNP Paribas Fortis Executive Board member and Head of Retail Banking, stated: “A sponsorship relationship never lasts eternally. The relationship between our Bank and the club has been really unique in Europe. Through all these years we’ve been able to write a wonderful story together. We of course wish the club every sporting success. We would like to express our sincere thanks to the Anderlecht fans who have – many of them since childhood – for years worn with pride a jersey with the Bank’s logo on it. This kind of bond never dissolves entirely. We of course remain Anderlecht supporters alongside them, even though we’re no longer the shirt sponsor.”

RSC Anderlecht CEO Karel Van Eetvelt declared: “We’re very grateful to BNP Paribas Fortis for close to 40 years of unique collaboration. Together we can look back on many wonderful sporting moments. As the management of both the club and the bank have always had an open relationship, we’ve known for some time that BNP Paribas Fortis wanted to re-assess our partnership. Partly in the interests of the club, we took a joint decision to bring total clarity to the situation without delay, so that RSC Anderlecht would have the chance to look for other partners. We’re enormously grateful to our main sponsor for this. Now the club has other opportunities and we’re in the final phase of talks with new partners. RSC Anderlecht will make an announcement on this at the appropriate moment, and it will then be clear that we’re well placed to enjoy a bright future.”