LONDON: A Sponsorship Today report shows that Manchester United now earn 11pc of all sponsorship income across Europe’s six major leagues.
The data, which tracks 1,179 club deals from the Premiership, the Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Eredivisie, shows that the Manchester club earn an estimated €146m from its 2014-15 sponsorships and that doesn not include the Nike kit deal (soon to be replaced by Adidas for €96m p.a.).
The figures show that Manchester United earn nearly €40m more per year from sponsorship than its nearest rival Barcelona, on €107m and 95 times more than the Premiership’s lowest earning club, Burnley, which receives an estimated €1.54 million.
Report author Simon Rines said: “Manchester United has identified sponsorship as a key source of revenue in its attempt to compete with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, which have a higher total turnover.
“Because the English club has a larger number of fans worldwide, partly as a result of the success of the Premiership, it is attractive to brands, particularly in Asia where its fan base is biggest.
“Apart from its new deal with Chevrolet, valued at €61 million per year, the club has a major secondary deal with Aon, its former shirt sponsor, but now training ground partner.
“What is most significant, however, is that the club has devised a strategy in which it sells rights in individual territories or regions. It is therefore possible for a brand in e.g. Thailand or Vietnam to buy sponsorship rights to the club with the branding not being seen outside of those countries.
“This allows the club to steer clear of what is known as ‘sponsorship clutter’, where rights holders are so plastered in brands that non has the opportunity to stand out.
“Barcelona, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are following this model, but to date they have had less success than Manchester United, which has a dedicated office in London’s Mayfair designed to serve its international sponsors.”
The report shows that across Europe’s primary leagues, club sponsorship is worth €1,321 million with the English Premier League the biggest recipient on €460 million. The German Bundesliga is second on €313 million with Spain’s La Liga third on €233 million.
The biggest percentage gain, however, is in France, where Paris Saint-Germain has grown commercial income exponentially in recent years. Its primary shirt deal with Emirates, for example, was worth €4.9 million in 2012, whereas today the figure has risen to €24.7million.
Indeed Emirates is found to be the largest sponsor across the continent with deals at such clubs as Arsenal, PSG, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Hamburg with a combined value of €127 million.
Sponsorship Today tracked 1,179 sponsorship deals across all clubs in Europe’s major six leagues. Deals included primary shirt sponsorships, naming rights, secondary and regional sponsorships. Values were accorded to every deal either through amounts reported in the media or through estimates based on comparisons, IMR’s industry knowledge and club annual reports.
IMR is a leading sponsorship industry analyst and publisher. Titles include the International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship and Sponsorship Today. IMR also publishes management reports on sports business and sponsorship.
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