These sectors help deliver significant revenues for football clubs across Europe
The biggest deals in football used to be multimillion dollar transfers to land the sport's biggest stars. These days, arguably the most important signings for Europe's top clubs are the corporate sponsors on the front of their uniforms, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The 2010/11 European Jersey Report released by SportundMarkt this week, demonstrates the current landscape and development in jersey marketing in the six top European football leagues. The Premier League (England), Primera División (Spain), Ligue 1 (France), 1st Bundesliga (Germany), Serie A (Italy) and the Eredivisie (Netherlands), and paints a rosy picture of the commercial value of European club football, with shirt sponsorship up by 18 percent across the major leagues.
The report's findings go on to detail that two sectors dominate jersey sponsorship: banking and gambling. The latter is largely due to the liberalization of the French gambling market, said Gareth Moore, a director for SportundMarkt. France opened up its online horse-racing and sports-betting industry to competition in June, relaxing a state monopoly on gambling that traces back to the 16th century.
Online gaming companies such as BetClic Enterprises Ltd and Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG now see football shirts as a way of differentiating their brands in a very competitive market. BetClic ranks third among a host of new brands entering the football market with Euro 20 million paid for jersey sponsorship deals with Juventus FC, Olympique Lyonnais and Olympique Marseille.
This season, seven of the 20 clubs in the English Premier League have jerseys emblazoned with the names of online betting companies and in Spain, Real Madrid's famous white jersey carries the corporate logo of Bwin, the club's major sponsor following a deal worth roughly Euro 23 million.
Future liberalization of the gambling market, particularly in Germany, will ensure the market for elite football jerseys continues to rise, suggests Gareth Moore.