EXCLUSIVE: European shirt sponsorship hits new all-time high
The Barclays Premier League has maintained its position as Europe’s leading top flight for jersey sponsorship investment and is now approaching the magical EUR 150 million p.a. mark. Continued growth for the leading clubs and new, improved deals for some less prominent sides have helped set the new record income.
This is one of the key findings of SPORT+MARKT’s European Football Jersey Report 2012/13. The report shows strong development has also been recorded in Spain’s Liga BBVA and Italy’s Serie A TIM. With revenues at a stable level elsewhere, this first-tier communication tool remains on a sound footing throughout the continent’s top leagues. Germany’s Bundesliga maintains its position as the second most lucrative league, reflecting the popularity of jersey sponsorship as a crucial tool in the market, thanks largely to significant audiences of league highlights on domestic free-to-air TV. The average jersey sponsorship income of Germany’s 18 top-flight clubs is EUR 6.7 million p.a.
Europe’s elite go digital to leverage global fan boom
Manchester City, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund have each utilised a variety of online channels in leveraging their domestic league success to engage new fans. As champions of Europe’s top three leagues – classified by UEFA coefficient rankings – all three clubs have experienced a surge in support. Manchester City’s fanbase across 18 key global markets has exploded by approximately 290% – a four-fold increase – over the past 12 months, according to SPORT+MARKT and Repucom’s annual Sponsoring21+ study. During the same period, Borussia Dortmund’s backing in its domestic market has expanded by 55% while Real Madrid experienced strong growth in Asia.
However each of them has also demonstrated there is more to winning the hearts and minds of football fans than silverware alone, using a myriad of communication channels to engage potential supporters. Offline channels such as merchandising streams have been optimised by improved global distribution networks. However the major breakthrough has come in the digital landscape where enhanced mobile technology, pioneering social media campaigns and e-gaming platforms are allowing clubs to reach and meaningfully interact with fans on every corner of the planet.
Ryder Cup special: Golf’s love affair with sponsors
There are few sports in the world in which sponsors gain more acceptance from fans than golf. Indeed, new Repucom research has shown that in the United States, only NASCAR enthusiasts are more faithful to brands engaged in their sport. In all, 74% of ‘avid’ golf fans in the US feel loyalty to companies that support the events they follow.
As the eyes of the golfing world turn to Medinah and the 39th Ryder Cup, Team Europe partners such as Rolex, Emirates and BMW and their counterparts on the US side, including Omega and Mercedes-Benz, will hope to benefit from that positive association. For high-end brands, events such as the Ryder Cup continue to present an outstanding communications platform. In total, 20% of the world’s golf fans stem from the highest earning demographic in their respective countries, a higher ratio than any other mainstream sport.
Think Global, Act Local: venue naming rights networks
Global brands Telefónica, Mercedes-Benz and Allianz are all specialists in one aspect of sponsorship in particular: they give sports arenas and stadia around the world their names. The pioneer of this approach, however, was Toyota. In the middle of the last decade, the Japanese carmaker had already begun to establish a web of naming rights partnerships in its core markets in the Asia-Pacific region and North America, with five U.S. venues bearing its name. The European equivalent, in terms of employing a network of naming rights, is the Spanish telecommunications giant Telefónica. Five multi-purpose arenas are named after its mobile arm, O2.
Allianz recently began its own global naming sponsorship expansion, securing the naming right on the Sydney Football Stadium and on the home stadia of the English rugby union team Saracens and the French football club OGC Nice. This took the German insurance group’s naming rights portfolio to four venues, a worldwide presence costing around 10 million EUR per year.
INTERVIEW: Fan engagement in a virtual world
EA Sports’ latest gaming smash FIFA 13 has taken fan engagement to a new level in the virtual world. With greater detail than ever and exclusive cooperation with many of the game’s top rights holders and players, FIFA 13 brings fans across the planet closer than ever to their favourite sports stars and teams.
Ahead of his appearance as a speaker at the Repucom and SPORT+MARKT International Football Summit 2012 in November, we caught up with Dirk Schülgen, EA Sports’ Marketing Director for Central & Eastern Europe, to discuss.
You can view the exclusive interview here [English, PDF 222KB].OmegaPharma – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team names Repucom official research partner