United tops European sponsorship table

English Premier League club Manchester United is Europe’s biggest player in the football sponsorship market, according to a new report issued by CSM Sport & Entertainment, a division of marketing services group Chime Communications.

CSM’s report covers Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France, detailing approximately €4.043bn ($4.64bn) in investment across 2,289 sponsorship deals, involving 1,606 companies in 55 different sectors.

United leads the ranking of clubs in the 2018 report, with revenues of €279m through its 68 agreements. CSM said these numbers are due, to a large extent, to the development of the club’s territorial sponsorship strategy, adding a total of 44 regional agreements.

Spanish LaLiga team Barcelona is in second place with €261m and 43 agreements. The club lost one sponsor last year but continued to increase income thanks to sponsorship from Turkish appliance manufacturer Beko, which in addition to shirt sleeve sponsorship also appears on the team’s training kit.

German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich occupies third position in the ranking, with total revenues of €180m through 29 agreements. The club this year added four brands to its sponsorship portfolio, in addition to signing an agreement with Qatar Airways as its sleeve sponsor.

Barcelona’s arch rival Real Madrid occupies fourth position with a sponsorship income of €178m per year through its 19 agreements. CSM notes the club has lost eight of its sponsors this season, while only adding ManBetX, a Chinese betting company, as a regional sponsor.

The Premier League dominates the rest of the top 11, with Chelsea closing out the top five with an annual revenue of €154m through its 18 agreements and Manchester City placed sixth with €149m and 38 agreements.

The remainder of the Top 11 is: Arsenal (€124m/27 deals); Liverpool (€117m/17 deals); French Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain (€112m/24 deals); Italian Serie A outfit Juventus (€101m/39 agreements) and the Bundesliga’s Borussia Dortmund (€80m/71 partners).

Most recent

The partnership is understood to be a three-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, and builds on AXA’s existing Global Partner agreement with Liverpool.

The deal is the largest ever sponsorship investment in UK women’s sport and comes less than a year after the league went fully professional in September 2018.

Under the five-year global deal, Oppo will become the first Official Smartphone Partner of The Championships, Wimbledon, as the event is officially known.

US sportswear brand Nike is paying about $7.5m (€6.7m) per year to sponsor China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL), according to industry sources.