Sports Sponsorship – Happy Families

March 24, 2014
Performance Comms

Football dominates the sponsorship landscape and according to Deloitte’s 2012/13 annual report, revenues for the top 20 clubs totalled a whopping £5.4 billion last season.

Manchester United boast the best revenue profile in the U.K (£363million per annum) and therefore act as a perfect case study as to why football (& sport in general) is demonstrating how global sponsorship deals present more opportunities than ever before.

Manchester United, along with the other big boys in Europe, have become more imaginative and diverse in their offerings allowing them to manage a far wider portfolio of brand partnerships and to demonstrate this, check out United’s 32 sponsorships (& there are two pages on their website):

[quote align=”left” color=”#999999″]United’s portfolio includes everything from official savoury snack partner to official timekeeper[/quote] Sponsors are increasingly willing to join a larger portfolio because they can now look to take ownership of a particular relationship with the club, aiming to attack a more specialised and targeted audience. United’s portfolio includes everything from official savoury snack partner and official timekeeper, to the official paint partner – all of whom have a partnership tailored to their needs, and looking to achieve different things.

As part of their sponsorship portfolio, United boast numerous Telecommunication sponsorships:

  1. STC (Saudi Arabia)
  2. TM (Malaysia)
  3. GLOBACOM (Nigeria & Ghana)
  4. Viva Kuwait (Kuwait)
  5. Airtel Africa (Burkina Faso, Chad, DR Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Sierra Leone, Tanzania)
  6. Globul (Bulgaria),
  7. Zong (Pakistan)
  8. Airtel (India, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Bangladesh)
  9. Viva (Bahrain)
  10. Turk Telecom (Turkey).


The deals cover 23 countries and demonstrate perfectly how United, and many other rights holders, are also maximising not just sector specific sponsorships, but also geographic.

[quote align=”right” color=”#999999″]There’s no evidence to show that a growing pool of sponsors attached to a club dilutes the worth for prime sponsors[/quote] Encouragingly, there’s no evidence to show that a growing pool of sponsors attached to a club dilutes the worth for prime sponsors, in fact Nike is reportedly about to sign a 10 year, $1 billion deal to outfit Manchester – the biggest deal in football, ever and all of this despite recent results.

My point is, if you’re looking for a football sponsorship, don’t be put off by joining a pool of established club sponsors, just remember this inspiring quote I’ve stolen from someone, at some point; “it’s not the detail or scale of the initial investment that determines success but the skilful exploitation of the activation which makes the difference.”


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