Football sponsorships hit by recession?

Statistics on the top twenty UK clubs show a GBP 10 million dip over the past two years

The specialist UK sports sponsorship company brandRapport has released some worrying numbers that suggest a decline in the budgets of top twenty football club sponsors.

BrandRapport suggests that in the two years since 2007 sponsors have lowered total spending from GBP 75 million to GBP 65 million in 2009. And GBP 53 million of current spending is going to only six of the top twenty teams: Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and City and Tottenham Hotspur.

Relative newcomer to the scene, online sportsbook 188Bet.com recently signed with Aston Villa (see previous InfoPowa report) and reportedly has prior deals worth some GBP 1.1 million with Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic.

Nigel Currie, a director of brandRapport, opined that the wide international popularity of UK Premier League matches and teams has seen the entry into the market of global sponsors, perhaps squeezing out potential regional UK sponsors from deals with the major clubs.

"They [global brands] pay big money for the top names, but they want three or four-year deals and not the uncertainty that goes with the smaller teams, who could be facing relegation," Currie remarked, adding that sponsoring the right teams took the sponsor into valuable editorial coverage on television, mobile, Internet and print media reaching millions of people.

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