2019-20 Liverpool Jersey
Chris Stearns

Premier League Jersey Sponsors are Big Business

Each summer is filled with transfers, pre-season training, and new kits. With kits come manufacturers and jersey sponsors, both of which are big business for Premier League clubs. We’ll take a closer look at the sponsors in a moment but wanted to highlight a pair of big moves in the kit manufacturing department.

It’s hard to believe we’re already less than two weeks away from the start of the upcoming Premier League season…

New kit partners for Manchester City and Arsenal

Champions Manchester City, along with all clubs under the City Football Group umbrella made the switch from Nike to Puma. The one exception is NYCFC, who are contractually obligated to the MLS league-wide Adidas kit partnership.

The new Puma deal, for all of CFG, is worth $793 million over 10 years. That’s a massive annual increase from the six-year, $88 million deal they previously had with Nike. It’s also now the second-largest kit deal in the league, behind the $915 million deal between rivals Manchester United and Adidas.

Man City, Arsenal Unveil New Jerseys

The other big kit move this summer was Arsenal leaving Puma for a new Adidas deal. It’s reported that the deal is worth $366 million over five years. The $73.2 million annual fee places it as the third-highest deal in the Premier League, only behind the two Manchester clubs. Before the most recent five years with Puma, Arsenal was a Nike club for two decades.

Liverpool’s current kit deal with New Balance expires at the end of the 2019/20 season. They’re reportedly in negotiations with multiple manufacturers for a significant increase from their current $54.9 million annual deal. Nike, Adidas, and Puma are all rumored and there are hopes that the deal would be the richest in the Premier League, surpassing the Manchester United/Adidas deal.

2019/20 Premier League kit sponsors break record for tenth-straight year

Over the last decade, Premier League jersey sponsors have set annual revenue record for clubs. For the upcoming season, that number is a $40.9 million increase from last season.

In total, all twenty clubs are bringing in $425.9 million for the 2019/20 Premier League season. The top-five clubs in kit sponsor revenue – Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool – account for $279.4 million, nearly 66% of total.

Meanwhile, Brighton & Hove Albion, who are entering their third straight season of Premier League action, only receive $1.8 million annually from American Express, which has maintained a large office in Brighton since the 1970s.

The promoted teams for the upcoming season – Norwich, Sheffield United, and Aston Villa – garner a combined $15.2 million.

Premier League jersey sponsors

Other interesting notes:

  • There are 19 different sponsors for the 20 different clubs. Wolverhampton and Crystal Palace both share ManBetX as primary sponsor
  • Exactly half of all clubs are sponsored by gambling companies
  • By region, the companies are headquartered in the following regions:
    • Asia/Oceania: 9
    • Europe: 6
    • United States: 2
    • Middle East: 2
    • Africa: 1

This will be the third year that Premier League clubs have also been able to sell sleeve sponsors for an additional revenue source. Some are linked to the primary kit sponsor, but most fall under separate industries. Currently 16 of the 20 clubs have sold the real estate on their sleeves. Brighton & Hove Albion, Newcastle United, Tottenham, and Watford currently do not have a sponsor for the upcoming season.

For brands sponsoring clubs in the world’s most popular domestic league, increased exposure is a huge win. During the 2017/18 European season, the kit provider of the top 40 soccer teams received over 80 billion impressions across social media channels. This equates to about $70.6 million in quality index media value.

Jersey sponsor deals impress beyond Premier League

The most interesting development in jersey sponsorship actually comes from a team just relegated from the Premier League – Huddersfield Town. Previously sponsored by OPE SPORTS, a Chinese gaming company, the Terriers recently announced British-based betting company Paddy Power as their new shirt sponsor. They quickly made headlines.

As part of a brilliant PR stunt, the club and sponsor created a fake jersey with the Paddy Power logo running across a sash that stretched the length of the kit. They even wore the kit during a pre-season friendly.

However, that was short-lived as they soon unveiled the actual kit – and it was sponsor-less – and part of a larger movement by the book maker. It’s called the Save Our Shirt campaign and Paddy Power is paying money to Huddersfield, and Scottish club Motherwell FC, to not have their logo on the team kits.

With sponsor logos often seen as ugly or clashing with the primary kit, the un-sponsor approach is unique. A throwback to older days before jersey partners, if you will.

Will Paddy Power, and Huddersfield Town, ultimately benefit from this agreement? It’s too early to tell, but this could be a smart move for club and partner once the initial PR wears off. Fans and even “purist” fans of other clubs could be more inclined to purchase a sponsor-less kit.

Without the large media rights of the Premier League, Huddersfield need to find a way to make noise off the pitch and they certainly accomplished that with their new jersey partner.

Note: actual jersey deal valuations may vary based on the value of the pound when deals were finalized

Categories: Europhile, Premier League, Sponsorship