The combined value of kit supplier contracts for England’s 20 top-flight sides this season hit 109.7 million EUR. However English Premier League clubs’ shirts are still the cheapest in all of Europe’s top five domestic football competitions. These are among the key findings of the 2012 European Football Kit Supplier Report by SPORT+MARKT and PR Marketing.
England’s top flight leads the way in Europe when it comes to attracting investment from sports equipment manufacturers, with clubs averaging 5.5 million EUR income from kit supply deals in season 2011/12. The average value of such deals across Europe’s “big five” leagues is a substantially lower 3.3 million EUR.
Premier League clubs will sell approximately 4 million jerseys this year, almost double that of the German Bundesliga, the league with the highest average match attendance in world football. However the reasons for the appeal of Premier League clubs’ kit rights are not only quantitative.
“The global reach of the English Premier League makes it a very attractive prospect for the world’s top sports merchandise manufacturers and, in turn, kit contracts are becoming an ever-more relevant source of income for the clubs,” Andrew Walsh, Head of International Affairs at SPORT+MARKT, said. “It’s not only about how many shirts you can sell, but about generating brand interest and loyalty and taking advantage of media exposure. Refinancing is also a major aspect – beyond simply supplying equipment, brands are looking to expand licensing agreements with the top clubs across the merchandising spectrum.”
The trend of growth that has allowed the kit supply contract market to grow by 48% in Europe’s top leagues since 2005 looks set to continue.
Walsh added: “What we’re also seeing now is that more up-and-coming manufacturers are entering the market and laying down the gauntlet to the traditional giants adidas and Nike. There now 28 different equipment brands active in the ‘big five’ leagues. You only have to look at the scale of Liverpool’s new deal with Warrior, which kicks in next season, to gain a strong impression of where the market is going.”
adidas remain the most active kit sponsor in the Premier League supplying five clubs this season, followed by Nike and UMBRO (both 3). Overall, adidas and Nike account for 44% of the total 330 million EUR spent by equipment manufacturers to secure rights for clubs from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 this season alone.
The study by SPORT+MARKT and PR Marketing also shows that kitting out in a Premier League club’s jersey is far less expensive, on average, than that of their Serie A or La Liga counterparts. The average shirt price from a top-level English club this season is 49.80 EUR, compared with 71.40 EUR in Serie A, 71.20 EUR in France’s Ligue 1 and 70.33 EUR in the Bundesliga.
The new calculations only take into account fees for the actual engagements. They do not include assessment of the provision of equipment such as kits, training equipment and footballs.
(SPORT+MARKT Press Release)