February 27, 2018
The 2017/2018 season of the Premier League is well underway, and this is the first season in 23 years the league will be without a title sponsor; with Barclays scaling down its estimated £40 million per season investment, to now become the league’s official bank partner.
Official Premier League sponsors joining Barclays, are EA Sports as their Lead Partner, Cadbury as the Official Snack Partner, Carling heading up the alcohol side of things as the Official Beer Partner, Nike providing the Official Match Ball, and TAGHeuer overseeing measures as the Official Timekeeper of the league.
With the Premier League now without a title sponsor, a new revenue stream has been opened up to many of the 20 clubs, this time, on their sleeve. Rumoured to have been pushed for some time now amongst Premier League sides, the space freed up on the clubs sleeves has seen deals reach well into seven figures with Manchester City currently taking the lead so far, with the biggest sleeve-patch deal, teaming up with South Korean tyre firm Nexen, reportedly worth an estimated £10 million.
The 2017/18 season sees the combined shirt sponsorship deals for the 20 clubs reach a record £281.8 million, an increase of over £55 million from last season. The commercial strength of shirt sponsorship is clearly on the up, with the figure having trebled in the past seven years.
In this year’s league, Liverpool, Southampton, Stoke City and Watford are the only clubs with British-based company sponsors, with global brands capitalising on the worldwide appeal of the Premier League. The remaining 16 clubs have secured international sponsorships with headquarters based in the USA, China, Japan, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Malta, the Philippines, and Kenya, to name a few.
Various sectors are represented with these partnerships, including automotive brands, tyre brands, airlines, insurance companies, banking, telecoms, duty-free, finance, eco-towns, and gambling brands. Nine teams will carry sponsorship from a gambling brand, despite the blanket ban on gambling within football, and the uncertainty surrounding when these bans will be enhanced to affect primary sponsorship deals.
It’s not just shirt space that can be acquired by sponsors, with Stadium Naming Rights deals on the up. Fans will be visiting the Bet365 stadium in Stoke, the Vitality Stadium on the South Coast and the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on the road this season. A ten-year deal will now see Manchester City, play their home games at the Etihad Stadium in a deal running until 2021. Investing an estimated £400 million with the club for the Stadium Naming Rights – breaking down to just over 10% of the club’s revenue.
The biggest sponsorship deal this year though belongs to City’s rivals, Manchester United and Chevrolet, worth a club-record deal of £47 million a year. The club is also pocketing a further £75 million a year from German kit supplier Adidas.
Chelsea follows in at second place with their Front-of-Shirt sponsorship deal with Yokohama, worth £40 million a year. The London club was also perhaps a part of one of the biggest deals of the summer. A £60 million, 15-year deal was struck prior to the 2017/18 season with US sports giant, Nike, with Chelsea buying themselves out of their Adidas deal six-years early for an estimated £40 million.
Arsenal head in at joint third with their partner, Fly Emirates, investing an estimated £30 million a year with the club. North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur receive the same figure from Hong Kong-based insurance group, AIA. Having finished as runners-up for the past two seasons, and an upcoming move to a state of the art new stadium, Spurs appear to be a safe investment for potential investors.
With this in mind, what’s stopping you from landing a sponsorship deal?