AccorHotels beats rival bidders to major PSG shirt deal  

French hotel group AccorHotels beat off strong interest from at least five other brands to win the main shirt rights at Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

A French football industry source told SportBusiness Sponsorship this morning that Accor will likely pay about €50m ($56.6m) per year under the multi-year deal, starting next season.

The club declined to comment on the deal, but told SportBusiness Sponsorship that it represents “one of the top sponsor deals in Europe.”

The deal ends PSG’s one-year search for a new main sponsor, after it offered the rights to current shirt sponsor Emirates for a prohibitive €80m per year in November 2018. That fee would have represented a 166-per-cent increase on Emirates’ current deal, at €30m per year.

Diplomatic tensions between Qatar and the UAE continue to create problems behind the scenes for PSG’s Qatari owners and the Dubai-based airline, but it is understood that price was the major factor in Emirates’ decision not to renew.

Emirates is concurrently paying Real Madrid between €50m and €55m per year as main shirt sponsor, and did not think the two clubs were of comparable size, the source said.

Accor’s decision to take up the property can also be linked to Accor chief executive Sébastien Bazin, the former European head of global real estate firm Colony Capital.

Colony took almost complete ownership of the club in 2010, but in 2012 it sold the club to current owner Qatar Sports Investments.

Under the new deal, ALL (Accor Live Limitless), Accor’s new lifestyle loyalty programme, will become a principal partner of the club and main shirt sponsor.

The loyalty programme allows members to benefit from rewards, services and experiences across the group of 4,800 hotels worldwide, including international brands such as Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis.

More information on the partnership will be provided by Bazin and Nasser Al-Khelaifi, PSG’s chairman and chief executive office, at a press conference in Paris tomorrow.