Why football sponsorships are growing even more lucrative

The relationship between football teams and their sponsors seems like a simple one; businesses pay teams money to print their brand name or logo on jerseys and stadium billboards then sit back and enjoy extensive advertising when millions of football fans tune in to matches from all over the world.

In return, the teams receive a cash injection that enables them to buy more talented, popular and expensive players. The more of these high-quality players the team can afford, the higher they will rise in the league, the more trophies they will win and the more businesses will offer them more money in return for sponsorship. It’s an ever increasing, and ever lucrative, circle. Almost as lucrative as the gambling that goes alongside football, its quite apparent why Mansion 88 otherwise known as M88 sponsor Man City.

As the money involved in football sponsorships increases however, it becomes apparent that there is more to this apparently straightforward give-and-take relationship than there might first appear.

As well as the opportunity to advertise to millions of general football fans, businesses are becoming increasingly aware that sponsoring teams can help them target specific groups they had not had access to before. Take for example Manchester United’s latest sponsorship deal with Chevrolet. The American car brand might seem a surprising choice for an English team where the brand is recognised but not widely popular, but it is not the English fans in which Chevrolet is interested. By partnering with United, the brand is in fact targeting the burgeoning Asian market where the popularity of the premier league — and in particular Manchester United — will give this American company a new foothold in a previously untapped international demographic.

Football clubs have also realised that teaming up with the right sponsors can be mutually beneficial. Everton’s latest sponsorship signing with Thai beverage company Chang has secured both money for the club and advertising for the brand but has also guaranteed a flourishing relationship with the Thai football industry, in which the club helps the company to invest in projects in Thailand such as football training camps with top Everton Academy coaches. Barcelona has similarly teamed up with the likes of UNICEF and the Qatar Foundation. While it may seem cynical, it can hardly escape each club’s notice that associations with these charitable organisations can only serve to boost the club’s popularity.

As the world’s love for football grows then, sponsorships look likely to increase exponentially as international businesses fall over themselves to tap into this incredibly lucrative market.

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