Date: 11th October 2016 at 8:12pm
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With growing riches from the new television deal, here’s how clubs in the Premier League are performing in 2016/17 on a commercial basis when it comes to shirt sponsorship.

According to data compiled by Sporting Intelligence, it shows just how important main shirt sponsorship is for sides in the modern game and also the incredible differences depending on whether you more often sit near the top of the table compared to the bottom.

Across all 20 Premier League clubs this season, the combined sum sees a new record financial return of £226.5million coming in just for fans to advertise a company when they wear their colours with pride.

That’s up from figures obtained by Sporting Intelligence for the season of 2015/16 where the sum sat at £222.9million, which itself was up from 2014/15 levels of £191.35million.

Seeing Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City fill the top five slots given how the title falls usually, and the obvious extra pull that regular European action gives them, is no great surprise, but with the range of sponsorship last season being from £47million down to £750,000, that gap has closed by a small margin and now reads £47million down to £1million.

With ‘success’ having a factor here on negotiation strength, the curiosity in some of the figures comes from there being a ‘Premier League safe’ apparent bonus for clubs who are the more regular midtable teams, but then this season Southampton’s sponsorship went up a reported £5million compared to last year (Europa League Group stage involvement figuring obviously) but top flight stable Stoke City only increased their last deal by a reported £200,000, and although West Bromwich Albion is said to have increased their new deal by £1.3million, they still sit sixth from bottom with a total of £2.5million.

And yet Sunderland, with their recent battles against relegation grew on their last deal by £1million to sit eight from top with a return of £6million.

Leicester continue to be an aberration when you look at their return, but of course they are sponsored by their owners and with the increased natural revenue into their coffers from last season’s Premier League win plus Champions League Group Stage money this season their joint second lowest shirt sponsorship income of £1million (alongside promoted Middlesbrough) shouldn’t really be read into – as even though the club won’t confirm, it’s suggested there was clearly a substantial bonus for their success last season.

Of course, with only six clubs in total registering an increase on last year’s sums, some sponsorship deals haven’t yet been renegotiated and that will also factor in some of the sums shown – as well as the smaller year on year increase in the last two years.

Value 2016/17
Man United
Chevrolet (US)
Yokohama (Japan)
Fly Emirates (UAE)
Standard Chartered (UK)
Man City
Etihad (UAE)
AIA (China)
Virgin Media (UK)
Dafabet (Philippines)
West Ham
Betway (Malta)
Chang Beer (Thailand)
Crystal Palace
Mansion (Gibraltar)
Swansea City
BETEAST (Costa Rica)
Stoke City
Bet365 (UK)
Hull City
SportPesa (Kenya)
West Brom
UK-K8.COM (China)
Mansion (Gibraltar)
Dafabet (Philippines)
Watford (China)
Leicester City
King Power (Thailand)
Duty Free
Ramsdens (UK)
(Up from £222.9m)

With the Premier League being an international product thesedays, it’s probably no great surprise to see 16 clubs share 14 sponsors with overseas bases, with the USA, China, Japan, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Malta, Costa Rica featuring and Mansion and Dafabet having two clubs each and Hull City’s sponsor, SportPesa, are the first African based sponsor in the Premier League.

Only Liverpool, Southampton, Stoke City and Middlesbrough have UK based sponsors.

With few clubs changing sponsors for this year, and including promotion/relegation over the summer, last season only Liverpool, Newcastle, Stoke, Norwich and Southampton could boast British based sponsors, and 14 clubs had overseas sponsors from 12 countries making up the rest.

The betting industry remains a curiosity in the game as well – a blanket ban within football and junior strips unable to carry their branding – betting companies this year account for ten clubs’ sponsors but that curiosity also applies to wider sponsorship in the game such as the SkyBet Football League and the many other ties in that come with sport and football in particular.

Betting companies are actually up from seven in 2015/16 so clearly it’s big business and clearly has an effect in terms of attracting and keeping punters.

Sporting Intelligence point out for the figures above, they have been sourced by either the sponsor or the club – so are probably as accurate as we’ll get.

The German football market is said to be the second strongest when it comes to commercial shirt sponsorship deals, but for 2015/16 industry analysts Repucom have data that indicates the Premiership is a more than doubly attractive market, with German Bundesliga clubs only taking in £101million – roughly where Premier League clubs were six years ago – so the growth alone is phenomenal and many would argue why that still doesn’t translate to fans when you consider the price of match day tickets, season tickets and even the replica shirts themselves.

As for shirt prices you can’t get much change these days out of £50 for shirts alone, and the Premier League is largely split with ten clubs charging just under £50, and ten clubs charging over £50 – with two charging £60 now.

A full kit for two clubs costs over £100, with Burnley charging the cheapest this year at a full kit price of £66, and as fans will know who have youngsters in the house, the discount for far smaller kits isn’t exactly massive either.

Twisting from shirt sponsorships, and moving into the realms of kit supply details – details for the 2015/16 season (again compiled by Sporting Intelligence) showed Manchester United’s deal with Adidas guaranteed them £70million a year and even Real Madrid’s deal is only worth £30million a year. Below them we have Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool on a reported £28million a year.

With no other Premier League side figuring in the kit supply deal top ten which ends with Paris Saint-Germain earning £17.5million, that’s clearly another area of growth clubs will be looking to exploit to increase revenues and with the top ten in that list taking a total of around £280million from those deals alone that’s a lot of additional cash to tap into.

Again though relative success, dominance of the domestic top flight league and greater exposure through the Champions League gives those clubs a boost many others could only dream of.

Admittedly as I’ve read around there is some debate on some of the sums listed but it still serves to give a very good picture about how clubs now rake in the millions with the fans effectively no longer being directly involved in that – but secondary as purchasers not supporters.

But maybe that’s why the working man’s game is now known as a ‘product’ and clubs focus on enhancing the ‘customer experience’ and in many cases prioritising results over entertainment value.

Football has always been a results based business, but with every passing year the result seems to be less about three points.