English clubs behind European elite in stadium naming rights valuations, Duff & Phelps research shows

2019-12-06 09:00 704
  • Barcelona (GBP32.00 million) and Real Madrid (GBP32.00 million) occupy the top spots in Europe for stadium naming rights valuations, followed by Manchester United (GBP26.75 million) and Manchester City (GBP21.90 million).
  • Premier League clubs missing out on millions in potential revenue from sponsorship deals this season, with just 30% of teams selling their stadium naming rights

HONG KONG, Dec. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Spanish footballing giants Barcelona and Real Madrid have the largest stadium naming rights valuations among the Champions League clubs, with Manchester United and Manchester City following closely behind, according to research released today by Duff & Phelps, the global advisor that protects, restores and maximises value for clients.

The research found that Premier League clubs are continuing to miss out on millions in potential revenue from stadium naming sponsorship deals, despite four of the biggest English sides dominating European competitions last year.

Michael Weaver, Managing Director and Head of Valuation Advisory EMEA at Duff & Phelps, said: 

"Last year saw four of the biggest football clubs in England -- Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur -- reach the finals of Europe's most prestigious competitions. That success has boosted the estimated valuations of the naming rights to their stadiums, and yet all but one has capitalised on potential sponsorship opportunities."

"This under investment is reflected across the European elite. Only five per cent of stadium names in La Liga are sponsored, despite the fact that Barcelona -- boosted by the global reach of stars like Lionel Messi -- and Real Madrid's home grounds are deemed to be the most valuable sponsorship propositions in Europe."

"Of course, we understand that other factors are involved in the decision-making process around stadium name changes; supporters hold huge influence there, and in Spain, Italy and France stadiums are often traditionally named after former presidents or club affiliates. Nevertheless, the potential economic gain for football clubs here -- whatever their size -- is hard to ignore. Brands need to take that first step before the market starts to truly thrive."

How the top English clubs fare against European rivals (Stadium Naming Rights Valuations GBPm):

  • FC Barcelona: GBP32.00
  • Real Madrid: GBP32.00
  • Manchester United: GBP26.75
  • Manchester City: GBP21.90
  • Bayern Munich: GBP17.90
  • Tottenham Hotspur: GBP17.50
  • Liverpool: GBP16.90
  • Chelsea: GBP16.75
  • Arsenal: GBP16.65
  • Juventus: GBP15.80

Duff & Phelps' study suggests that the brand value of international footballing stars such as Lionel Messi (Barcelona) or Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus, previously Real Madrid) -- both boasting multi-million follower bases on social media platforms -- could have an impact on the naming rights valuations, as sponsors would likely need to pay a premium to be associated with them. This is exemplified by Barcelona having a separate match-day kit sponsor (Rakuten) and training kit sponsor (Beko) -- a strategy which has yet to become widely adopted by other clubs.

With the influencer marketing industry expected to reach GBP7.5 billion in 2020, Duff & Phelps suggests negotiating access to clubs' and players' social media platforms could be key to brands getting the most out of sponsorship deals and saving significant sums of money at the same time.

Germany's Bundesliga is the most developed football naming rights market in Europe, with 80% of stadiums there sponsored by other brands. The largest single sponsor of the league comes from the finance industry (25%). Duff & Phelps suggests that this is because financial institutions, in most cases, are not simply buying the right to promote their brand on the stadium. Rather, they are buying into a football club to become its financial partner and sell other services to the club and its players.

The report also highlights the fact that all of Europe's professional teams benefit from having their games televised around the world in some form, meaning that even the smaller football clubs and their eventual naming rights sponsors could benefit from global exposure to new and existing customers.

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Source: Duff & Phelps