Sponsorship: English Premier League


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Barclays Premier League is the most watched league in the world. It is broadcasted in 212 countries around the world in association with 80 different broadcasters. Last year Sky and BT Sport paid a whopping £5.136bn for live Premier League TV rights for three seasons from 2016-17. For scale, this enormous influx of TV rights money has made Premier League minnows Burnley economically bigger than the Dutch giants Ajax.  Crystal Palace is sponsored by The Mansion Group which also owns Casino.com, a leading online casino in UK – Palace welcomed Mansion on board in 2015 and their strap line “Where the World plays” matches the zeal of CPFC and its fans.

There is no doubt that the English Premier League is one of the richest football leagues in the world. The Premier League giants such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool bring in a lot of revenue from the sponsorship.

In 2014, Manchester United signed a massive £53 million a year shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet, the famous car company worldwide for the next seven years. The same year United also signed another enormous deal with Sportswear giants Adidas from which they would rake in £750m over a course of 10 years. Prior to the world-record breaking deal, Nike had been paying the 20-time English champions £23.5m a year to make their kit.

In 2015, the West London club Chelsea ended their 10-year partnership with Samsung and announced the second-largest shirt sponsorship deal in English football history with Yokohama Rubber, only behind United’s current deal. The Blues bring in £40 million in revenues from their shirt deal alone and this gives the financial freedom to raid the transfer market. The former Premier League champions are contracted with Adidas as their kit manufacturers since 2006. Their current deal with Adidas is worth £20m a year.

Arsenal are third in line when it comes to revenues from shirt deal. The Gunners are sponsored by Emirates and their deal is worth £30 million. Prior to this they were contracted with European telecommunications company O2 between 2002 and 2006. The North Londoners have had four major kit manufacturers prior to their present sponsors Puma. Before Puma, the Gunners had a 20-year partnership with Nike.

The 18-time English champions Liverpool were the first professional English club to have a shirt sponsors. In 1979, the Reds agreed a deal with Hitachi and since then they have partnered with Crown Paints, Candy, Carlsberg and Standard Chartered. Their deal with Standard Chartered brings them £25 million per year. In 2015, Liverpool announced a massive £300 million deal with New Balance, the parent company of their previous manufacturers Warrior Sports.

Manchester City’s shirts have been sponsored by Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (£20 million per year) but before the takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008 they had a partnership with Thomas Cook.

In the 21st century, football clubs, football events and personalities have become bigger, brighter and more branded with big money sponsorship deals. Nowadays, Sponsorship is a major feature of the sports not just football.

Image – Copyright Premier League

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