Modern-day football sponsorship deals have become a far cry of what they previously were. No longer a simple process of granting advertising space to the highest bidder, sponsorships nowadays play an important role in market exposure, brand recognition, and battling the new financial fair play regulations. With the inflated player market, clubs need every penny they can get to sign new players and pay their wages. The Premier League is far ahead of any other league in terms of shirt sponsorship deals, with a total of £226 million a year collected by the 20 clubs. In this list, we explore five of these lucrative deals that have changed the playing field in football.
5. Standard Chartered (Liverpool)
The Reds’ plans for a new stadium were rekindled upon signing the biggest sponsorship deal in the club’s history in 2009 with Standard Chartered. However, a change in ownership at Liverpool saw a change in direction as the club sought to develop their legendary stadium ‘Anfield’ instead. That initial five-year deal was reportedly worth £80m for the Reds, and their new three-year deal with the UK-based banking company adds £25m a year to their coffers until the end of this season. Through this agreement Liverpool has expanded its shirt sales in Asian markets covered by Standard Chartered and taken part in their various charities.
4. Mansion Group (Crystal Palace)
A staggering 10 out of the 20 Premier League clubs were sponsored by betting companies ahead of the current season. Global online gaming giant Mansion Group sponsors two of those teams in the shape of Crystal Palace and Bournemouth. A new one-year deal was signed for the 2016-17 season reportedly worth £5m. Mansion group operates a handful of sites, with their flagship website Casino.com being the top of the bunch. With another £2m spent on sponsoring Bournemouth, Mansion has become the biggest betting investor in the Premier League this season.
3. King Power (Leicester City)
King Power struck gold with Leicester’s meteoric rise to the top of the Premier League and their miraculous title win last season. With a measly sum of £1m yearly, the Thai travel retail company got much more than they bargained for in terms of exposure, especially since the club also qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the 2016-17 season. A big chunk of fans live in the Far East, and that is reflected in the amount of investment Asian companies have in English football. The Foxes’ stadium is also a part of the sponsorship and was duly named ‘King Power Stadium’ at the beginning of the 2011-12 season.
2. Fly Emirates (Arsenal)
London’s most successful club gathered most of its honours playing in its famous stadium Highbury. In order to afford the move to a newer stadium with greater capacity, the Gunners first signed their sponsorship agreement with Emirates in 2004. The deal granted them the naming rights for the new stadium, and Emirates has been a part of the club ever since. The current sponsorship deal provides Arsenal with an annual £30m which has contributed to the signings of big name players in recent years such as Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil.
1. Chevrolet (Manchester United)
Even though these days they can be found playing away to Zorya Luhansk on a Thursday night, the Red Devils boast the biggest sponsorship deal in the league.
A seven-year deal signed in 2014 with American car manufacturer Chevrolet guarantees the club a mother lode of £53m per year. That amount hasn’t been affected by the club’s decent into the Europa League. On the contrary; shirt sales have been flourishing since the summer signings of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba. United are still looking for a way back to success after the retirement of Alex Fergueson; now they have everything in place to get their groove back and return to their old title-winning self.