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Foreign Investment Fuels Rise Shirt Sponsorship Revenues

Tue 24th Feb 2015 | Football Sponsorship

Premier League clubs have seen a 36% rise in shirt sponsorship income according to research by Repucom.

The report by Repucom released today, shows the total annual income from shirt sponsorship for the six European leagues analysed now amounts to over €687m, an increase of over 20% on the 2013/14 season (€570m).

The report also shows that the Premier League has seen a 36% rise in income on the previous season, driven largely by Chevrolet’s deal with Manchester United, worth at least $70m per year (€54m).

Spain’s Primera División (+30%), Italy’s Serie A (+21%), France’s Ligue 1 (+13%) and Germany’s Bundesliga (+9%) have also all seen rises. Only the Netherlands' Eredivisie saw a decrease, dropping slightly by 5% to a shirt sponsorship income value worth €42m for the 2014/15 season.

It is increasingly foreign investment which is fuelling this rise in revenue, most notably that from the Middle East. Approximately €160m has been spent by United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar based companies this season alone.

The UAE maintains its position as the single biggest shirt sponsorship investor of Europe’s top six leagues, ahead of the German market which had dominated this field for well over a decade. This season, revenues from German companies amount to €112m across the continent’s top leagues, followed closely by another foreign investor which has also recently sprung to prominence, the US, with approximately €82m.

Glenn Lovett, president of global strategy, Repucom, said: “The rise in foreign money in European football is nothing new however investment in shirt sponsorship is increasing more rapidly than ever. 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.

“As such, we are seeing a greater need from current brands, rights holders and broadcasters operating throughout European football to better understand the benefits and opportunities this presents.

“Foreign investment is big business but it is vital to understand how organisations can benefit. Our approach to helping these key stakeholders understand the benefits is to ensure we provide both data driven market intelligence as well as consulting services to ensure deeper insights and relevant and actionable recommendations result.”

In terms of the percentage of income from foreign companies, the Primera División tops the table. 86% of all revenue spent on shirt sponsorship in the league comes from outside of Spain.

The Premier League (75%) and French Ligue 1 (68%) also receive over half of their shirt sponsorship income from foreign investors. Italy’s Serie A is not far behind with a 47% share of revenue coming from overseas investors, whilst the German Bundesliga (24%) and Eredivisie (19%) remain examples of strong domestic shirt sponsorship markets.

Aside from football’s European powerhouse, the MLS in the US is starting to attract big business too. This season, shirt sponsorship of MLS clubs amounts to $55.8m, approximately €45m, making it larger in terms of revenue than the Netherlands’ Eredivisie (€42m).

Repucom’s European Football Jersey Report 2014/2015 is now available. Click here to find out more

Image: Action Images via Reuters / Matthew Childs 

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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