European football shirt sponsorship grows by 13 percent

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Madrid, March 23 (IANS) The amount of money invested in shirt sponsorship in European football leagues has grown by 13 percent since the last season, according to the sports market research group Repucom on Wednesday.

The Repucom report explained that the football shirt sponsorship industry has grown from 736 million euros ($823 million) in the 2014-2015 season, to reach 830 million euros ($928 million) this season, reports Efe.

The note covers sponsorship deals in the English Premier League (EPL), the German Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga, France’s Ligue 1, the Italian Serie A, and the Netherlands’ Eredivisie.

Foreign investment is the key part of this growth, with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) being the biggest investor in all the six top European leagues, spending a total of 163 million euros ($182 million) on shirt sponsorship in the 2015-2016 season, an increase of nine percent over the last season.

Airlines of Gulf countries are sponsoring the shirts of many European clubs, and the UAE leads by sponsoring Milan, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, plus Manchester City which is sponsored by Etihad Airways, as well as sponsoring the English FA Cup.

According to the report, the EPL has made the biggest increase in revenues of shirt sponsorship, growing from 244 million euros ($273 million) last season to 330 million euros ($369 million) in this one, amounting to 40 percent of the growth in all the top six leagues.

“At its current rate of growth, we could see European football shirt sponsorship investment top one billion euros within the next few seasons,” said Jon Stainer, managing director of Repucom in Britain and Ireland.

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