How Much Money Do Football Clubs Make from Sponsorship? (2022)

In fact, back in the early 90s and during the start of the first-ever Premier League season, there was a rather homespun approach to things.

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A trip back in time to Bramall Lane on the 15th of August 1992 will show just that as Brian Deane scored the first-ever goal in the Premier League’s history.

On this occasion, Deane bundled in a header from close range to open the scoring against Manchester United and in doing so sent a sun-soaked Bramhall Lane into euphoria. This prompted an enraged Sir Alex Ferguson to head for the dugout to bemoan his team’s defending to anyone that would listen. Perhaps this was where Ferguson’s permanent red face began as Deane would slot home a penalty during the second half to seal all three points on a day that the Blades fans will never forget.

September 26, 2016

Anyone watching the triumphant Deane wheel away to celebrate with the home fans on that balmy afternoon in August nearly 30 years ago, would have seen that he was wearing a shirt sponsored by Laver. Laver, of course, was a local timber merchant based in the city. Regional sponsorship wasn't a rarity during those heady days of 1992 and certainly wasn’t exclusive to just Sheffield United.

Indeed, during that swashbuckling performance from the Blades in Yorkshire, Norwich were down the M1 beating Arsenal 4-2. On the opening day, the Canaries ran out onto the Highbury pitch with Norwich and Peterborough Building Society proudly displayed on their kit. Meanwhile, Southampton were on the south coast playing out a goalless draw with Spurs and had Draper Tools - a family-owned tool company in the area- plastered across their home shirt. Wimbledon on the other hand, who were the victims of a Lee Chapman masterclass at Elland Road on that opening day, didn’t even have a shirt sponsor.

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As mentioned, it was a slow start in terms of sponsorship in the Premier League and elsewhere around Europe during the early 90s. The multinational companies hadn’t yet decided to throw their weight behind football. But that of course changed as Europe’s Big Five leagues made their way into more and more living rooms around the world.Fast forward to 2021 and the landscape has changed beyond recognition.

The Ships Came in for the Class of '92

To illustrate just how much things have changed, let’s take a look at how the fortunes of Sheffield United and Norwich have swung in terms of sponsorship these days. The Canaries no longer come out of the tunnel at Carrow Road with a local building company as their main kit sponsor, but rather that of Dafabet.Now, Dafabet has secured lucrative contracts with major football clubs like Celtic and Fulham, as well as the Welsh national team. Tellingly, UK players can’t access the casino and betting services of Dafabet, which does give you a good indication of the global reach of football in the United Kingdom. Players from other countries can take advantage of a range of markets across multiple sports, as well as a sign-up offer and a variety of promos.

As for Sheffield United, well, they have parted ways with their once trusted local timber merchant and have instead unveiled the largest-ever commercial transaction in the club's history. By signing a three-year sponsorship deal with Union Standard Group, they are rumoured to bring in the region of £3.5 million a season.

These are of course huge and impressive sponsorship deals that Norwich and Sheffield United have managed to land and they’ve come a long way financially since 1992, but they are still some way off the rarefied atmosphere of the top clubs in Europe in terms of lucrative endorsements.

(Video) Why I Sponsor a Football Club and Does it Generate Any Business?

The Clubs with the Highest Sponsorship Revenue in World Football

Take a walk around Old Trafford on matchday and ask those in the stadium concourse about their feelings on current chief executive Ed Woodward. You’re likely to receive a fair amount of dissent in the feedback with the majority not convinced about the 49-year-old’s record, given that trophies have dried up since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. The general feeling among the Old Trafford faithful is that Woodward has been brought in to run Manchester United as a business with the overriding criticism being that he is more interested in turning a profit than delivering trophies.

December 30, 2020

Whilst the latter may well be a bit of an overly simplistic conclusion given that you can’t typically make money without winning trophies, you certainly can’t argue the merits of the former.

Woodward Weaves His Magic

Astonishingly, in 2018 Woodward secured 69 different sponsorship deals that yielded the club a staggering £235 million in endorsements for the season. The current kit deal that Woodward’s Manchester United has with Chevrolet earns the Red Devils £70 million a season alone and will run until the end of the 2021 campaign. It won’t come as any surprise, then, to learn that Manchester United generates the most money through sponsorships out of any football club in the world after hitting revenue records never seen before at the club.

With that in mind, Real Madrid can boast the same amount for a shirt sponsor as Manchester United, with the airline Emirates paying Los Blancos £70 million a year to fly their flag on the famous white shirt on matchday.

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Fellow Spanish giants Barcelona are third on the list with an annual sponsorship turnover of £231 million. The Catalans owe most of this to lucrative shirt sponsor deals with Rakuten who shell out £55 million a season to have their names on the Barca kit.

As far as kit deals go, PSG comes in just behind Barcelona after negotiating themselves a bumper deal with Accor worth £50 million a season. Initially, Emirates were sponsoring the Paris giants but only offered £25 million per season which you would have to say is probably the going rate for sponsorship in France’s Ligue 1. Unsatisfied with this, however, PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi shopped around and managed to shake hands with Accor on a deal that was double what they were getting from the Dubai based airline. Incidentally, in the process of doing so, Al-Khelaifi ended a partnership with Emirates that went back to 2006.

The Most Lucrative Leagues in the World

As far as the Big Five leagues in Europe go, the Premier League earns the most out of sponsorships as it generates over £1 billion a year from 440 different endorsements. The Bundesliga comes in second with 617 deals that generate £641.5 million and La Liga third with £592.4 million a season from various sponsorships. This illustrates how slim the pickings are for teams that aren’t Barcelona or Real Madrid, as the league is only third for sponsorship deals in Europe, despite having the two biggest clubs in the world playing in it.

Unsurprisingly, Serie A is fourth with the Italian league generating £383.6 million in sponsorship deals. But that is still above the amount of Ligue 1, with the French top-flight turning over £312.4 million a year.

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When you add that all up, you’ll find that the Big Five leagues in Europe generate over £3.4 billion a year through countless sponsorship deals.

Those are eye-watering amounts and seem a universe away from the day that Brian Deane ran around a sunny Bramhall Lane advertising a local timber company to the world.

FAQs

What do football sponsors get in return? ›

Put very simply, a sponsorship in football, and sport in general, is a business providing funds to a team to help them buy essential assets such as team kits, equipment, training facilities and even travel to and from matches.

How does football clubs make money? ›

Sponsorships. This is a significant source of revenue for the major teams in the world. In the form of kit sponsorships, stadium naming rights, shirt sponsorships, sleeve sponsorships, and other sponsorships you can think of. Top brands spend a lot of money to be associated with clubs.

What do football sponsors pay for? ›

A sponsorship in football is an agreement between a club and a company/business that is looking to advertise itself. As per agreement, the company provides the club with funds, and in return, the latter displays the brand's name or logo on the kits, inside the stadium or anywhere else across the club's facilities.

Who has the biggest sponsorship deal in football? ›

The football club with the most valuable shirt sponsorship deal in the 2022/23 season was Real Madrid.
...
Top football club shirt sponsorship deals as of 2022/23 (in million euros)
CharacteristicValue in million U.S. dollars
Real Madrid (Emirates)70
10 more rows
12 Aug 2022

How do sponsors profit? ›

Profits are typically generated through the sales associated with your business or event which the sponsors made possible. However, with a well-planned and executed sponsorship recruitment plan and business or event marketing plan, you might exceed your contribution goals.

How does a sponsor benefit? ›

By sponsoring events, companies enjoy a set of perks that typically include the following: Increased brand exposure through the event itself, event advertising, and media coverage. In-event speaking opportunities that help boost their brand equity. Direct contact with an audience full of relatively warm leads.

Do football clubs make a profit? ›

How do football clubs make their money? Football clubs generate their revenue through several different sources, including matchday sales, stadium hiring fees, sponsorship deals, merchandise sales, TV broadcasting deals, prize money, and player transfers. The primary source of income naturally varies from club to club.

Do football clubs pay for police? ›

Premier League clubs contribute an average of £8,500 – 77% of the costs. The number of police officers range from a minimum of 14 attending Stoke City vs Watford to a maximum of 477 for Tottenham Hotspur vs West Ham United at Wembley Stadium, with a mean average of around 63 officers per game across the division.

Do Premier League clubs make profit? ›

Premier League side Liverpool follow closely, with the club's profit margin rising to £29 million and their overall revenue to a staggering £814 million despite the deductions caused by covid.
...
European Football Clubs with the Highest Revenue [Top 10]
European ClubRevenue (Annual)
Tottenham Hotspur£633 Million
9 more rows

How does club sponsorship work? ›

The financial support of sponsors is often for cost reduction around the club. This could be of players, of uniforms and competitions while also supporting the general running of the club. Sponsorship may be in the form of cash, donated goods and services or access. Whether that is to resources or staff of the sponsor.

How much money does the Premier League get in sponsorship? ›

In the 2019/20 season, the combined value of shirt sponsorship deals in the Premier League amounted to 349.1 million British pounds.
...
CharacteristicAnnual revenue in million GBP
Manchester City (Etihad)67.5
Liverpool (Standard Chartered)50
Manchester United (TeamViewer)47.5
Tottenham Hotspur (AIA)40
8 more rows
5 Oct 2022

How do sponsors make money in soccer? ›

There are three main ways in which a football club 'makes money': The Matchday revenue and merchandising (for example through the sale of tickets and other related packages that all adds to the match-going experience) Broadcasting income. Corporate sponsorship.

What is the most expensive sponsor? ›

Top 10 Main Shirt Sponsor Deals - As of March 2022

As shown on the graph above, Real Madrid's deal with airline company Emirates tops the list, bringing in €70 million a season.

How many sponsors can a football team have? ›

Football clubs have primarily two sponsors for their jerseys – the shirt sponsor and the kit sponsor. Multiple sponsorships are not a thing in football, having various company logos on the sleeves or the back is unpopular.

Who sponsors the most football teams? ›

The Top Football Sponsors
  • Coca Cola. Since 1950, Coca Cola has had stadium sponsorship and it has remained an official World Cup partner since 1978. ...
  • Nike. ...
  • Barclays. ...
  • Adidas. ...
  • Pepsi. ...
  • Red Bull. ...
  • Samsung.

How much money does a sponsor give? ›

2. How much do sponsors pay? Sponsors paid anywhere between $0.035 to $0.15 per view to YouTubers in 2020 for sponsored video content on the platform. So in 2022 you can expect to pay up to 10-25% more as demand for creator partnerships on YouTube is steadily increasing.

Do sponsors give money? ›

A sponsor is any person or company that provides something free (money, services, products) to increase the value of your event.

What are 4 benefits of sponsorship? ›

How Sponsorship Benefits a Business: What's In It for Them?
  • It increases visibility for the company and its brand.
  • It allows businesses to aim for a specific demographic of sales.
  • It improves a company's reputation for success and refinement.
  • It generates sales leads.

What are the pros and cons of sponsorship? ›

Sponsorship, Paid Social, and Advertising: The Pros and Cons
  • Pro: A quick boost in income.
  • Con: Tarnishing the reputation/brand.
  • Pro: It’s attractive to buyers.
  • Con: Instability.
  • Pro: Build relationships.
  • Con: Bad link neighborhoods.
18 Jun 2015

How important is sponsorship in sport? ›

Sponsorship can provide a strong increase in brand awareness and better brand positioning: the two combined elements will lead to brand preference and in improved sales. The passion ignited by riders, drivers, athletes, or by teams or any other sportsman in other disciplines, can't be rivaled.

Which football clubs have no debt? ›

Debt is something that plagues every football club. Only four clubs in Europe are free of it: Paris Saint Germain, Manchester City, Leicester City, and Chelsea. Chelsea, up until a few months ago, would have ranked high on the list, but Roman Abramovich waved away the debt owed to him by the club.

Are Chelsea in debt? ›

Chelsea's new owners are raising roughly UK£800 million (US$957 million) of debt as they bid to reshape the running of the English soccer giants, according to the Financial Times (FT).

Are Man Utd in debt? ›

The club's net debt also rose, from £419.5m in 2021 to £514.9m this year, an increase of more than 22 per cent. United put that rise of £95.4m primarily down to £64.6m of unrealised foreign exchange losses on the retranslation of borrowings in United States dollars.

Which football clubs are most in debt? ›

Barcelona top Deloitte's list of European clubs with the most debt, with the Catalan giants amassing a huge €1.35 billion worth of debt following recent investment.
...
Figures via Deloitte.
ClubDebt
Inter€702m
Milan€666m
Real Madrid€662m
Arsenal€625m
6 more rows
31 May 2022

How much is Liverpool in debt? ›

How much are LFC in debt? Liverpool is the fifth Premier League club with the most debt in 2022, with a net debt of $208 million.

Which Premier League clubs are in debt? ›

The total debt of Premier League clubs is estimated to be around $5.25 billion by the end of 2020.
...
Which football clubs are in the most debt?
  • AC Milan – €666 million in debt.
  • Inter Milan – €702 million in debt.
  • Tottenham Hotspur – €826 million in debt.
  • Juventus – €900 million in debt.
  • Barcelona – €1.35 billion in debt.
18 Jun 2022

Why do football clubs have sponsors? ›

A club requires money to do several things, including travelling to matches, purchasing players, paying those players, etc. By entering into sponsorship agreements, the club can earn money, which enables it to take care of such needs.

What is sponsorship money? ›

A sponsorship is when a company commits money or resources to a nonprofit event or program in exchange for specific promotional benefits. In exchange for supporting the nonprofit, the company gets their name and logo on things like: Banners.

Why do brands sponsor football teams? ›

As well as benefiting the brands, sports sponsorship is also advantageous for the teams and the brand's own employees. Having sponsorship funding allows athletes to focus more on the training and production of their sports and reduces stress when it comes to finding money to train and put on events.

How much do Man Utd sponsors pay? ›

Such a deal – which sees United earn £75m a year – is a huge increase on the £23.5m paid to the club each year by previous sponsor Nike. The club's official kit sponsor, TeamViewer, also ranks highly on the list of global partners following it's unveiling as the official shirt sponsor for the 2021-22 season.

How much does it cost to sponsor Manchester United? ›

In 2021, Manchester United signed a deal with TeamViewer for 47 million per year.
...
Manchester United revenue from jersey sponsorship from 2009/10 to 2021/22 (in million GBP)
CharacteristicKit sponsorship in million GBP
2021/22 (TeamViewer)47
2020/21 (Chevrolet)*64
2019/20 (Chevrolet)*64
2018/19 (Chevrolet)47
9 more rows
27 Jul 2022

How much does it cost to sponsor a soccer team? ›

The sponsor on the front of an MLS jersey is typically one of a team's biggest corporate partners. Those deals generally range from $2 million to $5 million annually.

How does title sponsor make money? ›

Title sponsorship is a marketing opportunity that is negotiated and committed to contract. There is typically a lot of money involved, especially with larger, more prestigious events. The contract ensures that the sponsor makes the agreed upon investment, even if the check arrives after the event.

Does Nike pay football clubs? ›

sponsorships. Nike pays top athletes in many sports to use their products and promote and advertise their technology and design.

Why do companies sponsor teams? ›

Increase awareness in (new) markets through the charisma of the club/athletes: A partnership can be used strategically to support market development abroad or in new target groups. Positioning: Sponsors are promoters and enablers of organised sport. No other form of advertising is as socially accepted.

Who is the biggest sponsor in sport? ›

Nike. Nike is the biggest sports brand, and as such, it holds an important position on the list of sports sponsorship examples This company sponsors various athletes across different sporting categories. It is estimated that Nike spends billions on players, teams, and leagues yearly.

Which sports have the most sponsorship? ›

At the top of the pile are the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, whose brand value in 2021 amounted to 5.7 billion U.S. dollars. As a league, the NFL's sponsorship revenue amounted to 1.62 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, representing an almost twofold increase since 2010.

How much does it cost to sponsor Liverpool FC? ›

Standard Chartered first partnered with Liverpool in 2010, with the original agreement reportedly worth UK£20 million (US$23.7 million) per year. The latest renewal also includes Liverpool's women's team, who will make their return to the Women's Super League (WSL) for the 2022/23 season.

Is it worth sponsoring a football team? ›

There is a whole list of benefits associated with investing into sponsorship, but the one which certainly tops it, is brand exposure and awareness, with “brand awareness” being the main reason for 73% of sport sponsorship investment.

Why has Forest got no sponsor? ›

There have certainly been offers on the table for Forest, who turned down a deal from last season's sponsor BOXT. But with disagreements on clauses related to potential relegation, Marinakis has refused to give the green light to a deal worth upwards of £10 million pounds.

How do football clubs attract sponsors? ›

This can be done in many ways, like putting the organization logo on your merchandise to highlight them. The other way is to publicize their brand around the pitch field, advertisements, etc. Ask them clearly what they need for their online presence and understand what your club can give them.

Who has the biggest endorsement deal? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo has a lifetime contract with Nike, he is considered to be the highest-paid athlete in the world. Which athlete has the most earnings from endorsements? Swiss Tennis Player, Roger Federer has earned the most money from endorsements. He earned $85 million.

Who was the first sponsor of the Premier League? ›

The only income generated for clubs was through their tv deal. However, at the start of the 1993/94 season the EPL was to be known as the FA Carling Premiership. Carling paid a reported £12 million for a 4 year deal to be the first title sponsors.

How much does it cost to sponsor a league 2 team? ›

Each available player will have up to three shirts able to be sponsored for the club's first campaign in the third tier since 2009, with plenty of 2020/21 League Two champions available. Player sponsorship is priced at £225 inc.

How do football clubs attract sponsors? ›

This can be done in many ways, like putting the organization logo on your merchandise to highlight them. The other way is to publicize their brand around the pitch field, advertisements, etc. Ask them clearly what they need for their online presence and understand what your club can give them.

How does a club sponsor work? ›

The financial support of sponsors is often for cost reduction around the club. This could be of players, of uniforms and competitions while also supporting the general running of the club. Sponsorship may be in the form of cash, donated goods and services or access. Whether that is to resources or staff of the sponsor.

How many sponsors can a football club have? ›

Football clubs have primarily two sponsors for their jerseys – the shirt sponsor and the kit sponsor. Multiple sponsorships are not a thing in football, having various company logos on the sleeves or the back is unpopular.

How do football kit deals work? ›

Well, it is because the production of kits is essentially a licensing arrangement. Kit providers such as Adidas, Nike, Puma et al pay a club for the right to produce and sell merchandise. On top of the licensing fee, these providers then give the club a cut of the sales, usually once they pass a certain threshold.

What are the benefits of sponsorship in sport? ›

Benefits of Sports Sponsorships
  • Provides Access. One of the biggest advantages of building a partnership with a team, individual, or sports property is the opportunity to not only build positive brand association, but also to activate and enhance the fan experience. ...
  • Guarantees Engagement. ...
  • Generates Exposure.

Why do football clubs have sponsors? ›

A club requires money to do several things, including travelling to matches, purchasing players, paying those players, etc. By entering into sponsorship agreements, the club can earn money, which enables it to take care of such needs.

Why do companies sponsor teams? ›

Increase awareness in (new) markets through the charisma of the club/athletes: A partnership can be used strategically to support market development abroad or in new target groups. Positioning: Sponsors are promoters and enablers of organised sport. No other form of advertising is as socially accepted.

What can sponsors offer? ›

Sponsors may offer you any of these 15 things besides cash:
  • Exposure.
  • Knowledge.
  • New customers.
  • Second chances at would-be customers.
  • Credibility.
  • Vendor relationships.
  • Event volunteers.
  • Branding.

How does sponsorship work in the UK? ›

After you apply

You'll be given a licence rating if your application is successful. You'll be able to issue certificates of sponsorship if you have jobs that are suitable for sponsorship. Your licence will be valid for 4 years. You may lose your licence if you do not meet your responsibilities as a sponsor.

Is it worth sponsoring a football team? ›

There is a whole list of benefits associated with investing into sponsorship, but the one which certainly tops it, is brand exposure and awareness, with “brand awareness” being the main reason for 73% of sport sponsorship investment.

Why has Forest got no sponsor? ›

There have certainly been offers on the table for Forest, who turned down a deal from last season's sponsor BOXT. But with disagreements on clauses related to potential relegation, Marinakis has refused to give the green light to a deal worth upwards of £10 million pounds.

Who was the first sponsor of Premier League? ›

However, at the start of the 1993/94 season the EPL was to be known as the FA Carling Premiership. Carling paid a reported £12 million for a 4 year deal to be the first title sponsors.

What percentage do clubs get from shirt sales? ›

The "club will make their money back on shirt sales line" is an oft-repeated myth. Clubs generally receive 10-15% on shirt sales - the manufacturer (Nike in this case) receive majority of income.

How do you negotiate a sponsorship deal? ›

6 Critical Strategies for Sponsorship Negotiation
  1. Target markets come first. The most important party to the negotiation is the target markets – the fans, customers, etc – but they are the only party not at the table. ...
  2. Keep it in your pants. ...
  3. Be open-minded. ...
  4. Be generous. ...
  5. Consider contra. ...
  6. Be realistic. ...
  7. Need more assistance?

Do footballers pay for the shirts they give away? ›

The 38-year-old shot-stopper, who played alongside Ronaldo between 2007 and 2009, revealed professional footballers are required to fork out for the kit they give away.

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