Sponsorship deals play arguably the biggest part of any club’s financial muscle power with deals for shirts, stadia and even training wear paying big bucks.
Some of the finances offered to clubs are eye watering but not every club is seeking to exploit the opportunity to maximise their coffers. Just ask Barcelona.
Barcelona and Unicef
In a unique break from the norm, in 2006 Barcelona secured a deal with Unicef to display the Children in danger charity’s logo on the front of their shirts.
At the time, they were one only a few clubs not to display a corporate logo as their main sponsor. This was widely applauded but in football, money talks, and the Catalan club signed a multi-million-pound deal with Qatar Sports Investment in 2012 to take over the prime advertising slot.
This led to accusations that Barcelona were ‘selling out’ but as they openly admitted, they needed the additional income to be able to compete at the highest level.
That said, in February 2016, Barcelona’s long standing relationship with Unicef was extended for a further four years with the club admirably paying the charity $2.2 million per year to display the Unicef name on the back of their shirts.
And they say football doesn’t have a heart.
Real Madrid and Bwin
Bwin have been long time betting partners of Real Madrid despite ending their $20 million dollar a year shirt sponsorship deal in 2013 when Real Madrid brokered a deal with Emirates to take over their main sponsorship.
However, both parties describe each other as loyal and still partner one another, this is leading to gambling Sponsorship is becoming a lot more common and perhaps The Mansion Group, responsible of successful casino brands like Casino.com could follow that path after sponsoring teams like Crystal Palace and Bournemouth in England.
La Liga – Santander
It is not just the clubs themselves who look to make a significant income from sponsorship, the leagues can make some big bucks by selling official partner rights to organisations and in 2016, La Liga signed a deal with Banco Santander replacing BBVA as the main La Liga title sponsor.
However, Spanish League President Javier Tebas has admitted that the deal is worth ‘less’ than the previous sponsorship deal which begs the question why?
The word is that La Liga is being compensated ‘in other ways’ such as additional international exposure and includes a rebranding of Spain’s second tier to La Liga 1|2|3 after the banking giants 123 account.
As the coming seasons progress expect sponsorship figures only to see a significant rise.