Sport, and football in particular, is enjoyed by billions across the world. Marketing gurus have played a key part in this becoming the case, as TV rights have seen more countries than ever get their slice of live sporting events. With an increased audience the opportunities to attract sponsorship revenues are at an all-time high.
Everton has been a part of this continued rise in revenue, as well as various other Premier League clubs and sporting teams from countries far and wide. So, how does the sponsorship landscape look in 2018?
An Essential Business Tool
The need for sponsorship in today’s climate was perhaps best illustrated by Spanish giant FC Barcelona. Long famed for abstaining from promoting any brands on their kits, the Catalan club finally succumbed to the facts of the day. All top-flight football clubs are in the results business. To get these results the right personnel need to be employed by the club, most importantly the manager and players. Of course, these assets to the club don’t come cheap, and therefore revenue is needed to fund the purchase of players and coaching staff. Ticket sales, shirt sales and appearance fees will add to the kitty, as well as player sales, but sponsorship revenue presents too valuable a contribution to be overlooked.
The Benefits Are Evident
Premier League clubs are experiencing record revenues in 2018, and sponsorship is massive in contributing to quarterly statements. Everton’s brand value was estimated to be £269million in 2017. This marked a 43% increase in value from the year before which stood at £189million. Fans in the blue section of Merseyside would be chuffed to know that their club ranked 13th in the world in terms of brand value – a considerable feat taking into account the number of clubs across the top leagues in Europe.
These numbers are extraordinary, but when one considers the highly lucrative deal Everton signed with sports betting firm SportPesa, it puts into perspective the revenue Everton are benefitting from which adds to the value of the brand. Signed in 2017 it came at a reported £48million, explaining the 43% rise in value.
How The Competition Fares
Everton aren’t the only beneficiaries of fantastic deals with brands to boost their revenue and brand value. Manchester United got a £371million boost from signing a sponsorship deal with General Motors, but scored the biggest win with a £750 million deal with kit supplier Adidas. Manchester City also scored big with sponsorship income from Ethihad worth £400, although the owners of the club also own Ethihad.
These are the extreme examples, but all clubs are benefitting from sponsorship deals needed to keep up with the competition. Front of shirt space now isn’t the only sponsorship space offered by clubs. Such is the allure of sponsorship income, and the benefits of the funds it creates, that sleeve space has seen a boom. Everton, too, have taken advantage of this with Finnish video game developer Rovio taking up this space. The fee that the developer is paying hasn’t been reported, but to put it into context Hyundai paid £50million to land Chelsea sleeve space.
The Future The combined income netted from Premier League clubs for 2018 is believed to be around £313.6million, and with TV rights continuing to expand as Amazon becomes a media rights holder the sponsorship revenue is expected to increase. Foreign investment in the United Kingdom, and thus Premier League clubs, is also increasing – Manchester City being a prime example. The fierce competition of the Premier League also suggests that the fight for sponsorship revenue is only expected to heat up, if not intensify significantly.
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