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Global Football Sponsorship Market was valued at US$ 38.29 billion in 2022 and is projected to attain a market valuation of US$ 55.73 billion by 2031 at a CAGR of 4.4% during the forecast period 2023–2031.
Football, as one of the world's most beloved sports, has always been an attractive arena for brands and sponsors. By 2031, the global football sponsorship market will be valued at over $55.73 billion. This staggering revenue reflects the sport's unparalleled popularity and the premium that brands are willing to pay for a slice of this lucrative pie. Leading the charge among sponsors are recognizable global brands like Nike, Adidas, Emirates, and Coca-Cola. Their prominent presence in football showcases the sport's ability to resonate with diverse sectors, from sportswear to airlines and beverages.
In the competitive arena of football sponsorship, European clubs have historically secured top spots in terms of sponsorship revenues. Clubs like FC Barcelona, Manchester United, and Real Madrid are not just footballing giants but are also commercial powerhouses. Take Manchester United’s enviable kit sponsorship deal with Chevrolet, which brings in about £64 million annually and is projected to spend over $559 million over 9 years, or Arsenal’s recently signed five-year agreement is valued at UK£50 million (US$63.9 million) each year in the global football sponsorship market. Additionally, Emirates secured the naming rights for the team's North London base until 2028, following an extension agreed upon in 2012.
The digital age has further expanded opportunities for brands, with clubs like Real Madrid championing digital engagement. The Spanish giants have an astounding following, with over 500 million followers across their all-primary social media channels. This digital revolution in football has also seen the emergence of new types of sponsorships. The Premier League’s adoption of sleeve sponsorships around 2017, notably Manchester City's pioneering deal with Nexen Tire, underscores this evolving landscape.
Football broadcasts, too, represent a significant chunk of the global football sponsorship market. The Premier League set benchmarks when it sold its domestic broadcast rights for 2019-2022 for a whopping £4 Billion for overseas. On the global stage, tournaments like FIFA’s World Cup 2022 further exemplify football's commercial appeal, generating over $1.7 billion in sponsorship revenues. Interestingly, as the men's game has grown, women's football has not been left behind. The Women's Super League in England celebrated a landmark moment in 2019 when Barclays became its first-ever title sponsor with a deal surpassing £10 million. This event in 2019 generated over $300 million in sponsorship revenue.
Sponsorship in football isn't limited to just team jerseys and broadcasts. Players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have inked personal endorsement deals that rival those of entire clubs, thanks to their partnerships with Adidas and Nike respectively. Meanwhile, newer entrants to the sponsorship scene, like tech giants Rakuten and Tencent, indicate the market's evolving dynamics. Clubs have even dabbled in nostalgia, with Manchester United’s retro-themed merchandise under Adidas being a testament to this trend.
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The digital landscape has experienced exponential growth, with over 5.19 billion global internet users. This vast number underscores the importance of digital platforms in broadening the reach of football sponsorship. In fact, by 2030, the growth rate for sports sponsorship on digital media is projected at an impressive 12%. Leading football clubs have astutely harnessed this potential; for instance, Real Madrid's follower count on social media has soared past 500 million, while FC Barcelona celebrated surpassing 15.9 million subscribers on their official YouTube channel in 2023. This online engagement isn't restricted to club loyalists. A remarkable 65% of individuals aged 16-24 engage with football content online.
As per NBC sport, this level of interaction has led to leagues like the English Premier League recording over 230 million YouTube engagements in just the 2023 season, 20% up than previous year in the global football sponsorship market. Footballing powerhouses like Manchester City didn't lag behind, recording a 20% surge in digital fan engagement. A testament to the evolving sponsorship strategies, over half of these deals have begun incorporating digital activation components. High-profile tournaments, like the UEFA Champions League final, further capitalized on this trend, with over 400 million viewers streaming the event in 2021. Apps from football clubs witnessed a 15% spike in user engagement in 2021. Reflecting the smartphone era, 70% of fans interacted with football content via mobile. These metrics suggest a thriving sponsorship market, which has been growing at a CAGR of 14% from 2018 to 2022.
Modern consumers in the global football sponsorship market are increasingly values-driven. A substantial 55% of them globally are inclined to spend more on products backed by brands championing social causes. Football, with its global appeal, hasn't been immune to this trend. An example of sustainable practice is Forest Green Rovers, the world's first UN-certified carbon-neutral football club. Major football entities have started embracing this approach. For example, Paris Saint-Germain introduced eco-friendly kits in 2020, crafted from recycled polyester. This shift is reflected in the broader market, with over 20% of European football clubs embedding sustainable initiatives in their sponsorships by 2021.
Global tournaments like the FIFA World Cup in 2022 had also set ambitious sustainability goals, targeting a 50% carbon footprint reduction. Industry leaders in the football sponsorship market like Adidas have also made firm commitments, vowing to utilize only recycled polyester in their kits by 2024. This transition isn't purely symbolic; three of the ten biggest football sponsorship deals in 2021 incorporated sustainability clauses. Furthermore, over 15 football clubs globally have inked deals with clean energy companies by 2021. The demand for sustainable football merchandise has skyrocketed, with a 30% rise reported in 2021. This paradigm shift is evident in infrastructure as well, with 12 football stadiums securing green certifications in 2021. Indeed, the voice of fans is clear, with a 25% rise in the global base demanding such green initiatives in 2021.
While the football sponsorship market has thrived, it's not without its challenges. Over-saturation is emerging as a significant concern, with 35% of fans by 2020 feeling overwhelmed by the profusion of sponsor logos on kits. This sentiment has echoed in the corporate world, with a quarter of global brands expressing doubts about the ROI, suspecting they might be overpaying for football sponsorship rights in 2021. This has pushed 30% of clubs to actively scout for diversifying revenue streams beyond traditional sponsorships by 2022. Over-saturation has also been reflected in viewership patterns. With an overwhelming number of matches, TV viewership for local leagues recorded a 10% decline in 2021. Sponsorship's effectiveness seemed to wane, with a 15% drop-in recall rates in 2020 and a subsequent 12% decrease in sponsorship renewals among mid-tier clubs the following year. In a bid to diversify branding, 20% of clubs globally have ventured into partnerships outside conventional sports realms by 2022. The shift towards streaming platforms in the global football sponsorship market has further eroded the traditional model, causing a 15% drop in TV sponsorship values in 2022. This has led to an emphasis on tangible returns, with 40% of 2021's football sponsorships including performance-linked bonuses. Economic challenges, like the 2020 slowdown, have further compounded the situation, leading to a 10% reduction in new deals. The delicate balancing act clubs face between commercialization and fan sentiment was spotlighted during the controversial European Super League proposal in 2021, which saw widespread fan-led protests.
The global football sponsorship market by type is dominated by team sponsorship segment. This segment, fundamental to football's commercial ecosystem, held a substantial 35.6%. Wherein, top-tier football clubs, with their massive global fan bases, have been lucrative magnets for sponsors. Manchester United, for instance, singed a deal worth over $80 million annually with a leading automobile brand until 2021. In 2021-2022, the club generated more than $57 million from TeamViewer. Additionally, clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool have secured kit deals each amounting to around €80 million and €70 million per year, respectively. It's not just the elites contributing to the Team Sponsorship segment's dominance in the football sponsorship market. Mid-tier teams across Europe, the Americas, and Asia, attracted average sponsorship deals worth $10 million annually in 2021. Furthermore, women's football teams, rising in prominence, contributed another crucial 5% to this segment. Merchandising rights associated with teams, which accounted for approximately 8% of team sponsorship revenues, further solidify the segment's dominance. Given these figures and the sport's increasing global appeal, projections suggest the Team Sponsorship segment will continue its upward trajectory, growing at a CAGR of 5.3%.
By sponsorship providers, Industries/FMCG/Brand holds the lion's share at 45.5% of the global football sponsorship market. The synergy between football's global reach and brand recognition is potent. Global brands such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi have historically spent about 12% of their total advertising budgets on football sponsorships. Nike and Adidas, competing titans in the sportswear realm, poured a combined $300 million into football sponsorships in 2021.
These brands in the football sponsorship market recognize the power football has in influencing consumer behavior; stats from 2022 revealed that 15% of surveyed consumers were more likely to purchase a product endorsed by their favorite football team. Additionally, the trend of emerging industries seeking visibility, like tech companies and e-commerce platforms, added another 10% to this segment in recent years. Local brands, keen on leveraging the appeal of their hometown clubs, also play a significant role, contributing an estimated 8% to this segment's value. Further substantiating its dominance, over 50% of pitch-side advertising in major leagues stemmed from FMCG brands in 2021. Given these dynamics, this sponsorship provider segment is poised for steady growth, with predictions suggesting a CAGR of 3%.
By origin, the global football sponsorship market, domestic sponsorships is projected to keep holding crown by capturing more than 61.2% of the market share. The domestic sponsorships manifest the deep-rooted connections between football entities and their local communities. For instance, local banks, breweries, and retail chains, understanding the pulse of their regional fan base, contributed to nearly 40% of the total domestic sponsorship deals in 2022. Moreover, when analyzing domestic broadcast rights, top-tier leagues like the Premier League and La Liga secured about 60% of their revenue from national broadcasters. Grassroots football programs, essential to nurturing emerging talents, attracted sponsorship support from local businesses, adding another 5% to the domestic segment's total. Furthermore, surveys in 2021 revealed that approximately 70% of fans felt a stronger emotional connection to brands that support their local teams.
Conversely, the international sponsorship segment of the football sponsorship market, though not holding the majority share currently, exhibits a promising horizon. While it contributes a smaller portion presently, its growth trajectory is remarkably steep, with projections indicating the highest CAGR of 4.7%. Clubs like FC Barcelona and Manchester City have been pivotal in this growth, netting multi-million dollar deals from global corporations beyond their national borders. Brands, especially from emerging markets in Asia and the Middle East, have significantly increased their international football sponsorship outlay by approximately 15% in the recent past. The global broadcasting of European leagues in over 200 territories also adds momentum to this upward trend. Additionally, international pre-season tours, immensely popular in regions like North America and Asia, bagged around 12% of total international sponsorship revenues in 2021.
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Football, deeply ingrained in Europe's cultural fabric, has unsurprisingly positioned the continent at the forefront of the global football sponsorship market. As of 2022, Europe has been dominating the landscape with a staggering 34.9% market share. This significant slice of the market isn't just a testament to the sport's historical ties to the continent but also reflects the commercial might and marketing strategies of European football entities.
Digging deeper into the Europe football sponsorship market, the top five European football leagues - Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, and Ligue 1 - collectively account for a major chunk of this market share. In August 2023, The EFL has secured a contract with Sky Sports valued at £935m, allowing them to broadcast more than 1,000 matches each season through the conclusion of the 2028/29 season. This landmark five-year partnership between the English Football League (EFL) and Sky Sports will commence from the 2024/25 season and continue until the end of the 2028/29 season. This deal undeniably contributes a significant portion to the overall European sponsorship landscape with clubs like FC Barcelona and Real Madrid often boasting individual sponsorship deals that rival those of entire leagues in other regions.
It's not just the elite clubs that bolster commanding position in Europe football sponsorship market. Mid-tier football clubs across the continent, particularly in countries like Portugal, the Netherlands, and Belgium, have seen an average sponsorship growth rate of 9% annually since 2018. This growth rate might be attributed to the increasing global reach of European football, with European club matches broadcasted in over 210 territories worldwide, reaching a potential audience of 4.7 billion.
Off the pitch, the robustness of Europe's position in the global football sponsorship market is further evident. Player endorsements, especially from European clubs, play a pivotal role. For instance, figures from 2020 reveal that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, playing for European clubs at the time, raked in a combined sponsorship revenue of $105 million, dwarfing their counterparts from other regions. Europe's sponsorship dominance is also fortified by its lucrative shirt sponsorship deals. In 2022, the top ten European clubs cumulatively amassed over €800 million from their primary kit sponsorship deals alone. Moreover, innovative sponsorship strategies, like sleeve and training kit sponsorships introduced by the English Premier League, have further bolstered Europe's market share, contributing an additional £50 million annually. The evolving dynamics of the football sponsorship market, with an increasing emphasis on digital engagement and sustainability, have also favored Europe. Over 60% of the digital engagements in football sponsorships globally originated from European clubs in 2021. In the realm of sustainability, clubs like Germany's Bayern Munich and England's Forest Green Rovers are pioneering green initiatives, attracting both fans and eco-conscious sponsors.
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