THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

La Liga usurps Europe’s merchandising throne



The clubs in the five European top leagues generate merchandising and licensing revenue of EUR 631 million. This is one of the key results of the „European Football Merchandising Report 2010“ by SPORT+MARKT and PR MARKETING, who interviewed a total of 182 top flight clubs and over 10,000 people from ten countries. In the 2009/2010 season, the clubs from England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain were able to increase their income by more than 6% in comparison to the 2008 investigation.

For the first time, the clubs from Spain‘s Primera División, which generated revenue of approx. EUR 190 million in the past season, occupied first position in the rankings. However, whilst almost 80% of their income can be allocated to the two global clubs, Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona, the EUR 168 million gerenated by England‘s clubs is distributed much more evenly. With merchandising income of EUR 130 million, the German Bundesliga follows, clearly ahead of Italy‘s Serie A (EUR 77 million) and France‘s Ligue 1 (EUR 67 million).

“The boom in European football merchandising is on-going”, according to Dr. Peter Rohlmann of PR Marketing. “However, it is primarily the less established leagues that can look forward to significant growth, as they are gradually identifying the importance of club merchandising in brand management.”

Supplemented by the income of teams from the first divisions in the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, the top flight clubs from the ten leagues generate total revenue of approx. EUR 727 million from merchandising and licensing. This income corresponds to a 7.3% share of the league’s total revenue. In extrapolated terms of retail revenue and based on the individual club business models, the sum corresponds to a total market volume of EUR 2.1 billion. Over half of the sum can be attributed to the products of the ten most popular clubs. Merchandise bearing the logos of Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona are in the strongest demand. English clubs Liverpool FC (3rd) and Manchester United FC (6th) were also amongst the top 10 clubs in terms of retail revenue.

The top selling item of merchandise for European clubs remains the jersey. 13.7 million replica shirts were sold in the 2009/10 season. The two sports equipment giants, Adidas and Nike, enjoyed a combined market share of approx. 83%, whilst the remaining 34 kit manufacturers in the ten leagues sold a mere 2.3 million jerseys in total (17%).

“Jersey sales represent the core business of many clubs and are often responsible for around 50% of merchandising revenue”, says Andreas Ullmann, Senior Consultant SPORT+MARKT. “Cultural differences do exist regarding preferences for certain products. Russian or Ukrainian fans, for example, tend to buy more warm scarves, whilst English fans like to buy mugs bearing the logo of their favourite club.”