1. Introduction

This website will provide information about the sponsorship/marketing involved with the English Premier League. The League is the most watched league in the world. It attracts the world’s top players and some of the world’s richest men and largest businesses who invest in Premier League clubs. Sponsors range from banks, television companies to fast food companies.

The website will hopefully provide you with a knowledge of how sponsorship and marketing works in sport and how important it is to professional sports. The Premier League generates a lot of revenue from different sources, however sponsorship is definitely one of the major sources of revenue. These sponsorship deals along with good marketing techniques allows the league to be competitive not only in europe but globally.

2. Rationale

This topic is important to all levels of sports, not only does professional sports teams and leagues need sponsorship deals to help them. Semi-proffessional and college teams alike all need sponsorships to generate revenue to keep them competitive. They also need quality marketing plans in place to get their brand out there and get fans to support the team, which then generates more revenue for the organization.

3. Main Content

The English premier League is the most watched league in the world. It attracts the world’s top players and some of the world’s richest men and largest businesses who invest in Premier League clubs. Conn (2009) agrees “clubs have become coveted “trophy” assets for a string of international millionaires.” The league is fairly new in terms of how long the league structure has been in place in England. The first game being played in August of 1992. The Premier League can be seen as the savior of English soccer. The turbulent 1980’s threatened to make many clubs break away from the football league in order to market them selves to television and other companies to generate revenue.

The 1980’s were a dull time in English soccer. Stadiums were not up to scratch, hooliganism was rife, and in 1989 the Hillsborough disaster occurred where 96 were killed and may more injured – crushed during an F.A. cup tie. English clubs were also banned from competing in European competition for five years after an incident in Belgium where thirty-nine fans were killed before Liverpool’s cup game. According to Pearson (2010) “football hooliganism has been called the English disease.” English soccer was not marketable at this point in time; the perception of the English game was in the gutter. None of the worlds top players would even consider coming over to play in England, and certainly television companies and sponsors were not willing to be associated with it. Because of the state of the stadia, the Hillsborough disaster in particular, and the hooliganism fans also began to stay away.  Big changes and a lot of restructuring were needed if the English game was to flourish once more. An agreement was signed in 1991 by founding members of the new ‘Premier League.’ The league was to be independent from the football league and F.A., which left it free to organize it’s own broadcasting and sponsorship agreements. This would prove to be pivotal in the rise back to the top for English soccer.

A huge step in the Marketing of the league came through Sky Television. The Premier League took the surprising step to assign the broadcasting rights to this new company who was going to charge consumers to watch live games. Owen (2010) states, “Sky TV introduced the concept of charging fans to watch televised Premier League football, and initially there were doubts about how well it would be received. A combination of the quality of football and Sky’s marketing strategy however saw the value of the Premier League rocket!” The league began attracting the top foreign players once again, which only increased ticket sales, television viewing figures and merchandise sales as the marketability of the Premier League soared. To put it in to perspective Sky’s original deal with the league was worth one hundred and ninety one million pounds over five years (roughly over three hundred and seven million dollars). That was back in 1992, Sky and Setanta recently paid close to two billion pounds for three years (around three billion dollars). Since the league’s formation in 1992 the value of the rights to show Premier league games has gone from thirty eight million per year to more than five hundred and sixty million pounds (Kelso, 2009).

It has not only been the broadcasting rights that have hugely increased the revenue of the premier league, sponsorship deals have helped to.  The first sponsor of the league was the beer company Carling. They paid the rights to have their name alongside the Premier League for four years at a cost of twelve million pounds. The competition became known as the FA Carling Premier League. Carling renewed their sponsorship for another four years paying an increase of three hundred percent. In 2001 a new sponsor in the form of Barclaycard paid forty-eight million for three years and then renewed recently for another three years at a cost of close to sixty six million pounds (“Premier League History,” 2011). With the League now generating so much revenue it has meant that English clubs can compete not just in Europe but also on a global scale. Clubs can now compete with any in the world in terms of transfer fees, wages and stadia. This continues to attract the world’s best players and coaches’, which makes the Premier League marketable across the globe. Many clubs competing in the league are now seen as global brands such as the Yankees in the United States. Revenue generated from overseas television broadcasting, sponsorship and merchandise sales means millions more gained in revenue for the Premier League and its clubs. According to Chu (2010) “English football is rolling in money. The revenues of the top 20 clubs in England have exploded since the foundation of the elite group in 1992.” The Premier League is arguably the worlds richest League now because of the revenue it generates. Premier League clubs generated combined revenue totaling two billion pounds in the 08/09 season (Deloitte, 2009). Other major League’s in Europe now fall very short of what the Premier league generates in revenue. It has even received praise from those rival leagues as a spokeswoman from Germany’s top league the ‘Bundesliga’ praised the Premier League for building it’s brand and marketing itself so well globally (“leagues global value dwarfs major rivals,” 2010).

The English Premier League has come a long way since its development back in the early nineties. It took a nation’s favorite game by the scruff of the neck and dragged it out of the gutter through excellent marketing and business decisions. It has now established it self as one of the wealthiest entities in not just soccer but all sports across the globe. This is because of the global marketing of the league now. All the teams are due to receive more money due to improved television deals. Thomas (2010) suggests; “The sale of the international rights has been particularly successful, doubling from $930 million to approximately $1.8 billion for the next three-year period.” Not just the league it self but players and coaches are becoming globally marketed. For example replica team jerseys have exploded across the globe, according to Miller (2010) “the leading two clubs sold, on average, 1.2m to 1.5m shirts per year each.” One of those clubs was Manchester United (Nike’s best seller). It will be interesting to see where the Premier League can take its brand over the next ten years and if they can continue to generate huge revenue.

 

4. Related Websites

  1. English Premier League
  2. Barclays
  3. Sky Sports
  4. Team Sponsors
  5. Lucozade

5. Related Online Articles

  1. Sponsorship in sport
  2. Event Sport Sponsorship
  3. Importance Of Sport Marketing

6. Videos

7. Works Cited

A history of the Premier League. Retrieved from http://www.premierleague.com/page/History/0,,12306,00.html

 

Chu (2010). Something is rotten in the state of English Football. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/something-is-rotten-in-the-state-of-english-football-2023656.html

 

Conn (2009). The English Premier League: A global brand or people’s clubs? Retrieved from http://www.sportbusinesscentre.com/news/2009-06-10

 

Deloitte (2009). Premier League clubs regain their status as world’s most profitable. Retrieved from http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_GB/uk/industries/sportsbusinessgroup/7642f7a3db6a1210VgnVCM200000bb42f00aRCRD.htm

 

Kelso (2009). Sky still dominate Premier League TV rights. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/4452344/Sky-still-dominate-Premier-League-TV-rights.html

 

Miller (2010). Manchester United lead global shirt sales. Retrieved from http://www.sportingintelligence.com/2010/08/31/exclusive-manchester-united-lead-global-shirt-sales-list-liverpool-chase-as-england’s-second-best-310805/

 

Owen (2010). Time to balance the books. Retrieved from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/premier-league-football-time-to-balance-the-books.html

 

Pearson (2010). Football Hooliganism. Retrieved from http://www.liv.ac.uk/footballindustry/hooligan.html

 

Premier League’s global value dwarfs all major rivals. Retrieved from http://www.football-marketing.com/2010/08/22/premier-league’s-global-value-dwarfs-all-major-rivals/

 

Thomas (2010). English Premier League coffers swell. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2010/SPORT/football/05/14/football.scudamore.interview/index.html