Examining Sponsorships in European Soccer
By: Marcus Watson
Premier League clubs had firm control of the sponsorships across European soccer in the 2022-2023 season, with the top tier clubs averaging almost 60 partnerships.
According to a study by SponsorUnited that analyzed thousands of brands and social posts of more than 100 players throughout the top leagues in Europe such as the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, etc, it was found that the number of sponsorship deals last season for teams in the Premier League has increased more than 30% year-over-year. Across all the leagues tracked, there was a 10% increase in the number of brands, while the partnership reached nearly 5,000 deals, a 13% year-over-year increase.
The SponsorUnited study stated in the Premier League, Newcastle United and Leeds United reigned supreme regarding the most partnerships. On the brand side, Coca-Cola was deemed the largest sponsor, having 47 active partnerships across the league. Brands like Sorare, EA Sports, Betway, and Socios were between 20 to 25 partnership deals across the Premier League.
Some of the largest investors are construction and industrial brands sitting at 622 deals across all five European leagues and the second highest was technology companies with 338 deals, which focused their efforts on what would be deemed as the popular or powerhouse teams in European leagues, such as PSG, Juventus, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United and Inter Milan.
SponsorUnited also did a study in regard to the kits, with sponsorships across Europe ranging between $55 million to $80 Million.
The top five most endorsed athletes are Neymar Jr. who has 31 deals, Lionel Messi with 30 deals, Ronaldo with 23, Guillermo Ochoa with 21 and Son Heung-Min with 13. With that being said, only 2 out of the top 5 still play in Europe. However, all 5 hit their stride and got their popularity from being in the top 5 leagues. Messi and Neymar were in La Liga and League 1 for most of their careers, and Ronaldo was in La Liga and Premier League for the biggest part of his career. Son currently plays for the Tottenham Hotspurs in the Premier League and Ochoa plays for Salernitana in Series A.
In the global landscape of sports, European soccer undoubtedly stands as the unrivaled champion when it comes to sponsorships and endorsements. The fervor of the fans, the rich history of the sport, and the captivating narratives that unfold within the leagues and teams all contribute to the immense appeal of European soccer. This fervent interest creates a powerful platform for brands to showcase their products and values, while simultaneously offering fans the chance to connect with their favorite teams and players on a more personal level. The success stories of European clubs, from the grandeur of the Premier League to the passion of La Liga, illuminate the enduring strength of these partnerships. As the world of sport continues to evolve, European football remains at the forefront, showcasing how sponsorships and endorsements have, and will continue to, revolutionize the way we engage with the beautiful game.