These are the top ten most lucrative shirt sponsorship deals associated with sports teams:
1. Manchester United – £45 million a year (Chevrolet)
Manchester United top this list with a shirt sponsorship deal that will take effect in 2014/2015. This deal was agreed with Chevrolet in the summer of 2012, and will benefit United to the tune of 45 million pounds a year. This deal dwarves their previous shirt sponsorship deal with AON.
While this deal should be a success for both parties, there is controversy attached to it. The man at Chevrolet who agreed the contract with Manchester United lost his job a week later.
2. Barcelona – £25 million a year (Qatar Foundation)
After spending years avoiding shirt sponsorship deals, Barcelona finally realized that they needed the money. A whopping 25 million pounds a year deal was agreed with the Qatar Foundation in 2011. This deal will help the Catalan club cement their place at the pinnacle of world soccer.
3. Bayern Munich – £23.6 million a year (Turk Telecom)
Bayern are one of Europe’s most successful and revered teams. In 2011, they agreed a shirt sponsorship deal that fit with that image. Their deal may only be third on this list, but it is immense compared to sponsorship deals for other German teams.
4. Manchester United – £20m-a-year (Aon)
This is the English side’s second appearance on this list. After AIG collapsed during the financial meltdown in the United States, Manchester United were left to look for a new sponsor. Their search did not take long, as another American insurance mogul stepped up to the plate. Aon agreed a mammoth deal with the Red Devils that should run until the end of the 2013/2014 season.
5. Liverpool – £20 million a year (Standard Chartered)
Liverpool might not be the force that they once were, but their commercial success has not dwindled in the past 20 years. They are one of the most popular teams in the world, particularly in Asia. Standard Chartered looked to take advantage of this popularity when a 20 million a year deal was agreed with the Merseyside giants. Ironically, Standard Chartered owned Liverpool for close to a year, before selling the club to the Fenway Sports Group in Boston.
6. Manchester City – £20m-a-year (Etihad Airways)
Manchester City have gone from relegation regulars to the cream of the crop in the past five years. Their sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways is part of a wider package, which includes the naming rights for the “City of Manchester Stadium”.
7. Sunderland – £20m-a-year (Invest in Africa)
Sunderland are a surprise entry to this list. The team is well supported in England, but they do not have a huge worldwide following. No doubt, their American owner played a part in securing this sponsorship deal.
8. Real Madrid – £16.8 million a year (Bwin)
As the biggest soccer team in the world, it is a slight surprise to find Real Madrid so far down on this list. It would not be a surprise if they agree a mammoth deal with a new company in the future.
9. Chelsea – £13.8 million a year (Samsung)
Chelsea have been associated with the iconic electronics company for a number of years.
10. AC Milan – £10 million a year (Emirates)
The financial pull of Italian clubs is not what it once was, but AC Milan still managed to pull off an impressive sponsorship deal with Emirates.
Written by Mark Colman who specialises in writing about the business of sport and global sponsorship deals for the likes of AON.