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How Much Money Do Premier League Teams Get From Shirt Sponsorship

premier league flag in the windThe English Premier League seems to get more competitive each year with all clubs generating enough revenue to invest in quality players.

According to Deloitte’s yearly Football Money League, 14 Premier League teams were represented in the top 30 of world’s highest revenue generating football clubs in 2020/21. With 10 teams even listed in the top 20. For the first time, Manchester City topped the list with a total revenue of £571.1 million.

In recent times, however, clubs have come under attack for partnering with betting companies especially and for promoting gambling sponsors on their shirts and sleeves.  The UK government initially seemed keen to ban shirt sponsorships from betting companies as part of a new white paper but has decided to stop short of a ban on these sponsorships with voluntary regulation favoured.

Premier League clubs are under pressure to move away from gambling, as they have in the past from alcohol.  This begs the question as to how much various sponsorships are worth to clubs and how much effect this could have?  Is sponsorship revenue equal across all clubs and where do teams get most of their money from?

Revenue Streams: Broadcast, Matchday & Commercial

piggy bank 3 taps pouring money in from difference sources revenue streamsThe Premier League’s broadcast deal, said to be worth over £10 billion, is the driving force behind so many English top tier teams generating high revenue. This is especially the case for teams outside the traditional top six. Where broadcast revenue makes up 56 percent of total revenue on average for top six teams, this rises to between 76 percent (Everton) and 87 percent (Wolverhampton Wanderers) for other Premier League teams listed by Deloitte. Even pre COVID-19, non-top six teams share of total revenue coming from broadcast income was on average around 20 to 25 percent higher than for top six teams listed.

In addition, Premier League teams receive matchday revenue. The COVID-19 pandemic limited clubs in the amount of matchday revenue they could generate. However, pre-pandemic (2019) Manchester United were able to generate £106.3 million from matchday revenue. 17 percent of total revenue that year. Over the same period, Manchester City made just over half of that with £55 million (10% of total revenue).

Besides broadcast and matchday revenue, clubs generate income through commercial revenue, including shirt and general sponsorship income. With top six teams generating more than 40 percent of their income commercially. For other Premier League teams, the total amount of commercial revenue and relative share of total revenue is significantly lower. With Everton generating £46.5 million and Leicester City £41.1 million in 2020/21, which is 24 and 18 percent of total revenue respectively.

Top 6 Premier League Commercial Revenue In 2020/21 (Source: Deloitte)

Team Revenue
Manchester City £272.9 million
Manchester United £232.2 million
Liverpool £211.1 million
Chelsea £155.4 million
Tottenham £151.2 million
Arsenal £136.4 million

top 6 premier league commercial revenue chart 2020-21

Higher Commercial Revenue Possible

British pounds

When it comes to commercial revenue, the Premier League still has room to grow. According to Deloitte, in 2020/21 Bayern Munich and PSG generated the most commercial revenue with £305.7 million (56% of total revenue) and £298.8 million (61% of total revenue) respectively. Almost 10 percent more than Manchester City, the Premier league team with the highest commercial revenue during that period.

During COVID-19, most teams saw their commercial revenue decreasing, including Manchester United. The Red Devils generated ‘only’ £232.2 million; a 17 percent decrease compared to the £279.5 million they made in 2016/17.

Rivals Manchester City went against the general tendency and increased their commercial revenue. With £272.9 million in 2020/21 they have not yet reached United’s 2017 level, but City are steadily growing their commercial income stream. In 2016/17, they generated £198.1 million, meaning a 38 percent growth in those four years. This growth is the reason they topped Deloitte’s report, because the club is lagging Europe’s highest revenue generating teams when it comes to matchday revenue.

Sponsorships Driving Revenue

profit riseOne way to increase commercial revenue is to increase sponsorship income. There is a lot of debate about teams generating high sponsorship income through inflated sponsorship deals with state-owned companies. This is of course a way to navigate UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulation. Manchester City is one of the clubs getting scrutiny for their sponsorship deals.

However, so far, City are using it to their advantage to grow their revenue, the club and ultimately on-pitch success.

Manchester City has 31 global partners listed on their website (as of end of July 2022). While Arsenal only lists 19 and Manchester United, known for its commercial focus, 21. The difference explains how City has increased their commercial revenue in recent years.

Kit And Shirt Sponsors Most Visible

football gambling shirt sponsor examplesNone of the sponsors get as much exposure as shirt sponsors. Kit suppliers, front-of-shirt sponsors and sleeve sponsors are probably most visible to fans and the football community. Subsequently, they are also the sponsorship deals from which clubs can generate a large chunk of their revenue.

Here again, it is the traditional top six teams that can generate the most revenue by attracting bigger brands and securing more valuable contracts.

Top Six Kit Deals Generate Up To £75 Million Per Year

roy keane in man united shirt sponsored by chevroletManchester United has the longest running kit deal from the traditional top six. In 2015, Nike took over from Adidas in a ten-year deal said to be worth a total of £750 million. However, on-pitch performances are considered and missing out on Champions League football is said to decrease the amount by £25 million. With £50 million, United still fare better than most other clubs.

In 2019, Manchester City switched from Nike to Puma. The German brand did not secure the sponsorship deal with Manchester City, but with holding company City Football Group. Hence, the ten-year partnership worth £650 million covers multiple clubs. Manchester City is the principal asset in the deal but earns below £65 million per annum.

According to Swiss Ramble, Liverpool’s kit deal with Nike has a base rate of £30 million. With royalties this is expected to rise to at least £70 million per year. While Chelsea and Spurs’ kit deals with Nike are worth respectively £60 and £30 million and Arsenal’s Puma deal £60 million.

When comparing this to the total commercial revenue received by these teams in 2020/21, kit sponsorships account from anywhere between 20 and 44 percent of total commercial revenue. With Arsenal generating the largest chunk of commercial revenue from their kit sponsorship deal.

Other PL Teams Earn Far Less From Kit Deals

wilfred zaha playing for crystal palaceFour other Premier League teams made it to the top 20 of Deloitte’s list in 2020/21: West Ham, Everton, Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wonderers.

Based on published data these clubs generate far less revenue from kit sponsorships. The share of total commercial revenue is also lower, namely between 12 and 19 percent.

Everton’s deal with Hummel is worth the most with £9 million per year. This comes down to 19 percent of their commercial revenue in 2020/21. Wolves’ deal with Castore is worth £3 million per year, which represents 12 percent of their commercial revenue.

Leicester City’s deal with Adidas and West Ham’s Umbro deal generate around 15 percent of commercial revenue.

15-30% Commercial Revenue From Shirt Sponsors

van dijk playing for liverpool in standard chartered sponsored kitLike kit sponsorship deals, front-of-shirt branding generates significant revenue for Premier League teams.

It is again Manchester United that leads the way. Their ability to secure high value sponsorship deals is one of the reasons they have been in Deloitte’s top five of highest revenue generating clubs for the past 25 years. In 2012, United secured the highest ever shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet worth £64 million a year. In 2021, they found a new partner in global technology company TeamViewer. The club currently receives £47 million per year, which is £17 million less than their previous deal. A significant drop due to among others, on-field performance and global circumstances. However, the new deal has similar value to shirt deals struck by other major teams.

It is in line with Liverpool’s deal with Standard Chartered. Starting in 2010, the deal was reportedly worth £40 million per year. Recently, the Reds extended the deal until the 2026/27 season under better terms.

Although shirt sponsorships generally generate less revenue for top six teams than their kit deals, it still makes up for around 15 to 30 percent of commercial revenue.

Shirts Worth More Than Kits For Middle/Low-tier Teams

declan rice with betway logo on his shirtOther Premier League teams cannot expect to earn as much from shirt sponsorships, but it provides similar or more revenue than their kit deals.

Everton, for example, was said to earn £10 million from their deal with online car retailer Cazoo in 2020/21. However, Cazoo did not opt to extend the deal for a second year. In betting company, Everton has found a new partner, receiving a similar monetary package. It has around the same value as their kit deal and is worth around 22 percent of their total commercial revenue in 2020/21.

West Ham are said to also earn £10 million per year from their deal with betting company Betway. This is double the value of their kit deal and makes up more than 30 percent of their commercial revenue. Similarly, Leicester City earn twice as much from their shirt sponsorship (£12 million from online trading company FBS) than from their kit deal with Adidas (£6 million).

Sleeve Sponsors Generate On Average £3 Million

lfc kit showing sleeve sponsorSince the 2017/18 season, the Premier League also allows sleeve sponsorships. It was expected to generate around £3 million per season. Yet, with significant differences between what clubs could receive. Lower-tier clubs could expect around half a million pounds and mid-tier teams double that amount. Top six teams could generate far more.

Currently, top six teams generate around £6 to £10 million per season from sleeve sponsorships.

However, even though it provides an extra revenue stream, not all clubs have consistently taken advantage of it. Whether this is due to a lack of good offers or clubs’ preferences is unclear.

Tottenham Hotspur, for example, did not have a sleeve sponsor until they announced their partnership with online car retailer Cinch in January 2021. The reasoning by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy was that it might have compromised their search and securing of a naming rights deal for their new stadium.

Top Six In A League Of Their Own, Rest Making Progress

etihad airways shirt sponsor of man citySo, across the board, it is the Premier League’s top six teams that generate the most revenue. Other Premier League teams cannot match it because they, for one, miss out on broadcast revenue from European football. They also generate less commercial revenue. Mainly due to their kit sponsorship deals having a lower value, both absolutely and relatively to total commercial income.

However, these clubs are slowly gaining ground on Europe’s elite clubs due to the Premier League’s lucrative broadcast deals. Which is the main driver behind the revenue generated by Premier League teams. More so than commercial revenue and it will generate even more income in upcoming seasons.

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