The global reach of the Premier League has proved an attractive lure for many international brands (as detailed earlier this year in Repucom’s Emerging Giants report). Overseas investment in the Premier League is not just restricted to club ownership these days. Sponsorship from foreign lands is thriving as clubs’ commercial departments look to play on the extensive worldwide coverage the Premier League affords them, with brands also keen to tap into growing international fanbases.
Repucom’s Sponsorglobe database shows that just 36% of sponsors in the 2014/15 season originated from the UK. This figure becomes even starker when considering the value of their deals, with overseas companies contributing 87% of the total sponsorship spend.
In the first of a series of reviews over the 2015/16 season, Repucom looks at the commercial opportunities that the Premier League brings to the newly promoted clubs as they seek to capitalise on the major new marketing platform they are able to offer to their partners.
More Markets, More Screen Time
Not only does the Premier League guarantee teams more coverage around the world, with many of the 225 broadcast territories showing all 380 matches in full, but it also affords more time to brands on screen.
Repucom’s qualitative valuation analysis shows that a title sponsor’s shirt front position generates 11 times the advertising value equivalent in the Premier League than it would do in the Championship. This equates to many millions of pounds of media value – and just for one asset of inventory.
For some assets, the lucrative benefits aren’t just restricted to what assets are on view when the match is being played. Broadcasters appear to make significantly more time for pre- and post-match coverage in the top tier of competition. This means that for assets such as the interview backdrop, not only is there increased value in the amount of programming the Premier League offers, but the duration that branding is on screen for is four times as much as it would be in the second tier.
Opportunity for All 20 Clubs
Commercial gains at the top of the Premier League are well documented, with Manchester United’s Adidas deal, and Chelsea’s partnership with Yokohama evidence that this trend continues upwards. However, there is an opportunity for all 20 clubs to take advantage of this.
One brand to do just that is Mansion Group. With Repucom’s analysis of the first month of Premier League action now complete, Mansion Group’s sponsorship of both Crystal Palace and AFC Bournemouth has seen them become the third most exposed brand of all of the club partners (excluding kit providers) across the Premier League. In advertising value equivalent (AVE) alone, the returns are significant for the brand and this comes after it had not had any Premier League presence in recent years.
A Safe Bet
There are a number of sectors that are synonymous with the Premier League.
Excluding sportswear, Repucom’s research says that the automobile industry is the most appropriate sponsor amongst Premier League fans (58%). However, not one car manufacturer is among those brands that feature in the top 20 for exposure duration so far this season (after one month).
It is in fact gambling brands that dominate the chart here, accounting for six of the top 10 and eight of the top 20. Although beer happens to be the product that UK Premier League fans and ABC1 Males (16-34) are most likely to purchase, only three brands are represented in the top 20. Such a statistic puts the proliferated performance of gambling into perspective, but perhaps of greater significance is the emergence of a sector that also features three brands in the top 20 – insurance.
Norwich City’s promotion and continued partnership with Aviva has proved one driver, but so has the growing presence of Vitality, which has partnered with several clubs across the league. Together with AIA and others, these brands are establishing the sector as one that is keen to be at the forefront of the Premier League’s shop window.
MEDIA VALUE ALIVE AND KICKING
All this comes at a time when clubs and brands are getting more savvy about their partnerships. Exclusivity and sophisticated collaborations and activations are more frequent than ever in the commercial packages being agreed, as clubs strive to differentiate themselves from the competition. However, at the heart of all rights fee negotiations lies one inescapable constant – the many millions of pounds of media value that clubs have to offer.