European clubs scoring big with Asian sponsorships

European Football Club Income Stream Report 2013-2014

Ed Fitzpatrick (Executive Vice President Asia) gives his insight about localized sponsorship and the latest Repucom European Football Club Income Stream Report on BusinessTimes.com 

Some of European football’s biggest clubs are on a relentless quest to penetrate the lucrative Asian market, where they have reaped millions of dollars in revenue by selling their commercial rights. Repucom’s report on European football clubs’ income streams found that Manchester United generated more than 350 per cent extra income by securing such local sponsorship opportunities which are outside their traditional revenue streams – match-day sales, broadcasting, licensing and retail.

Thailand’s Singha Corporation is both the official global partner for the Red Devils, as well as the official beer for Chelsea, which gives the company the right to sell its beer during games at the Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge stadiums.

Barcelona, one of the giants of the sport in Spain, has an ongoing deal with Thailand’s Chang Beer as its official beer in Asia, while German champions Bayern Munich counts Samsung and China’s Yingli Solar among its many partners.

Ed Fitzpatrick, Repucom’s executive vice-president (Asia), noted that while broadcast rights remain the biggest income stream for clubs in Europe, commercial activities are the second largest contributor, accounting for 29 per cent of all revenue.

“Identifying new ways to increase the value of these sponsorships is incredibly important,” said Mr Fitzpatrick, who is based in Singapore.

“The approach to segment and localise commercial assets is something we are seeing more and more of in football, as clubs look to generate additional income and make increasingly engaging sponsorships, tailored to that specific market.”

He added that, as their global profiles rise, clubs should understand the local market forces so they can forge the most suitable and valuable sponsorships available to them.


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