Premier League clubs failing to cash in on stadium naming rights – report

Premier League clubs are missing out on millions of pounds in untapped revenue from stadium naming rights, a new report has found.

According to a study from global risk analysts Duff & Phelps, the total value of the Premier League’s stadium naming rights market now sits at £142m.

The market grew five per cent on last year’s valuation, which came in at £135.5m for 2018.

Overall, the top six clubs accounted for 82 per cent of the total market value, an increase of 5 per cent from 2018.

Compared to the NFL, the study found that Premier League stadium naming rights are significantly undervalued and underexploited.

Over 80 per cent of NFL franchises currently have stadium naming rights partners, compared to only 30 per cent of Premier League clubs.

Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium remains the most valuable stadium naming rights proposition, with a potential value of £26.7m per season.

In second place, Manchester City closed the gap to less than £5m, with their potential value reaching almost £22m.

At present, only six Premier League clubs have a stadium naming rights partner –  namely Arsenal, AFC Bournemouth, Brighton & Hove Albion, Huddersfield Town, Leicester City and Manchester City – and of these, only Bournemouth and Huddersfield have stadium sponsors that are independent of their shirt sponsor and owner.

Despite Manchester City’s efforts to catch Manchester United, the biggest gainer was Liverpool, whose stadium naming rights estimate increased over 50 per cent to £16.9m, driven by their successful runs to the Champions League final and strong performance in the league.

In comparison, 26 of the NFL’s 32 franchises have stadium naming rights deals, with the finance industry accounting for 25 per cent of the market.

The average stadium naming rights deal in the NFL is worth about £6m per season, but it can be significantly higher.

The NFL’s most valuable deal is AT&T’s partnership with the Dallas Cowboys, which is worth £14.3m per season.

The study urges brands to take advantage of the low price of stadium naming rights deals while they still can, before the market skyrockets in value, as has happened with Premier League shirt inventory.

Michael Weaver, managing director and head of UK valuation advisory at Duff & Phelps, said: “Multimillion-pound Premier League shirt sponsorships have been signed, multimillion-pound sleeve sponsorships are being signed, and it is only a matter of time until multimillion-pound stadium sponsorship follows.

“Brands just have to be courageous enough to take the first step, which will bring the market alive.”