20% rise in shirt deals

2015-02-24 10:07
Manchester United (Supplied)

Paris - The English Premier League and Spain's La Liga led a €115 million rise in shirt sponsorship deals for Europe's top championships last year, according to a report released Tuesday.

After booming television rights, outfit sponsorship has become a valuable new source of income for top European clubs, some of whom now even put company names on their socks. The United Arab Emirates has become the main spender on getting their name on football shirts.

The Repucom sports data firm said income from jersey sponsorship rose more than 20 percent last year to €687 million for the leagues in England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

"With investment in 2014/15 growing 20% over last season, the investment in shirt sponsorship has increased faster than at any time in the last 15 years," said Glenn Lovett, Repucom's head of global strategy.

The 20 Premier League clubs saw shirt revenue increase 36 percent to €213 million. Manchester United last year made a shirt deal with US car maker Chevrolet worth €64 million a year.

La Liga's income rose 30 percent to €113 million, Barcelona's deal with Qatar Airways, reportedly worth about €40 million, being the most expensive.

The Bundesliga earned €139 million, up nine percent, while France's Ligue 1 got 13 percent more, with €96 million and Italy's Serie A got 21 percent more with €84 million.

However, the Dutch first division saw its jersey sponsorship income fall by five percent to €42 million, according to Repucom.

The Netherlands has now been overtaken by Major League Soccer in the United States, which reaped approximately €45 million.

With the Middle East now the main source of the new sponsorship revenue, about €120 million came from the United Arab Emirates alone.

Emirates airline pays to put its name on the shirts of Real Madrid, Arsenal, AC Milan and Paris Saint Germain, accounting for much of that sum.

Behind the UAE, German firms are the next biggest sponsors on €112 million and, increasingly, US companies on €82 million.

Clubs are increasingly looking to spread advertising across outfits, though the Premier League and Bundesliga limit advertising space.

In Europe's other top football leagues, however, there has been a significant increase in deals which include branding on socks, shorts and the back of shirts.

A Repucom spokesman said the number of deals involving socks and other new areas had doubled over the past decade.

Spanish champions Atletico Madrid last year became the first of 14 La Liga clubs to wear advertising on ties around their socks.

Manchester United last year reportedly pressed for sponsor names on the back of shirts, but other Premier League clubs refused.


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