Premier League clubs have cracked the code to maximise the sponsorship value of their player's shirts, after recording a 10th successive season of record-breaking takings on the back of innovations such as sleeve sponsorships.
The 20 topflight clubs took home £349.1m collectively for the 2019/20 season, up £33.5m from the year prior, as sponsors clamoured for a prized strip spot. Leading the way was Manchester United which generated £64m from selling clothing rights to Chevrolet with fellow Mancunians Man City, benefitting to the tune of £45m courtesy of a multi-million deal with Etihad.
Premier League stalwarts Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool each took home £40m apiece courtesy of sponsorship deals with Fly Emirates, Yokohama and Standard Chartered respectively.
At the other end of the scale, lowly Brighton generated a paltry £1.5m from its partnership with American Express.
The 10th annual review of Premier League shirt deals, by @alexmiller73, shows the collective value for 2019-20 has risen to £349.1m. Man Utd well ahead of the pack. See small print for details. pic.twitter.com/6exHYAeMfS
— Nick Harris (@sportingintel) July 17, 2019
Ever-increasing commercialisation of clubs has sparked a backlash in some quarters, however, with irreverent bookmaker Paddy Power leading the charge with its move to ‘unsponsor’ Huddersfield Town and Motherwell FC as part of its ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign to restore simplicity and visual harmony to the pitch.
“Shirt sponsorship in football has gone too far. We accept that there is a role for sponsors around football, but the shirt should be sacred,” said Paddy Power managing director, Victor Corcoran.
“So we are calling on other sponsors to join the ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign, and give something back to the fans. As a sponsor, we know our place, and it’s not on your shirt."