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Premier League shirt deals lead Europe

News, 25 March 2016

LONDON: The English Premier League accounts for just under 40% of the €830m (c. £650m) spent by brands this season on shirt sponsorship across Europe's top six football leagues, a new report has revealed.

Repucom, a sports and entertainment research firm, said revenue from shirt sponsorship in Europe's top leagues rose 13% over the past year, but growth in the Premier League surged an impressive 35% on last year's figures.

The 20 clubs of the Premier League attracted €330m (c. £260m) of shirt sponsorship revenue, or nearly twice the amount generated by the German Bundesliga (€168m).

Spain's Primera División brought in €105m, followed by France's Ligue 1 (€103m), Italy's Serie A (€83m) and the Eredivisie of The Netherlands (€41m).

Three of the leagues – Primera División, Serie A and Eredivisie – saw modest falls in shirt sponsorship revenues over the year, but one of the stand out findings in the report is the extent to which overseas brands are willing to invest in European football clubs, particularly those from England and Spain.

Non-European investment now accounts for more than 62% of total shirt sponsorship revenues across the six leagues, with Spain's Primera División attracting the highest proportion (87%), followed by the English Premier League (82%) and France's Ligue 1 (60%). However, the Premier League dwarfs the others with €271m.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) continued to invest the most into the top six leagues with a total of €163m spent on shirt sponsorship in the 2015-16 season, an increase of 9% on last season. US brands, especially those in the automobile sector, also invested €87m.

Another trend noted in the report is the rise of investment from betting companies, which increased its shirt sponsorship spend by 180% in the 2015-16 season to €42m.

But with annual sponsorship of over €199m, the travel and tourism industry remained the biggest investor into European shirt sponsorship.

Jon Stainer, managing director of Repucom UK and Ireland, predicted that European football shirt sponsorship investment could top €1bn within the next few seasons.

"The Premier League continues to drive this trend with year on year investment growing faster than any other league on the continent. It is an industry that attracts big money from abroad which underlines the appeal European football has internationally," he said.

"For brands, shirt sponsorship consistently returns the highest advertising values but it is key to understand which clubs and leagues present the best opportunities".

Data sourced from Repucom; additional content by Warc staff