Whether you think the Chevrolet logo looks strange or not, the auto company’s deal with Manchester United is the new gold standard in jersey sponsorship deals. Staggering amounts of revenue are being generated from European soccer clubs through the space on the front of the team jersey. Below are the most lucrative jersey sponsorship arrangements in all of sports:
A.C. Milan, Emirates – $20.5 million
A.C. Milan signed a four-year agreement with Emirates worth $82 million that began with the 2011-12 season.
Tottenham, AIA – $27 million
In early 2014, Tottenham signed a five-year sponsorship deal with Hong Kong-based American International Assurance (AIA). This marked the end of Tottenham’s relationship with Hewlett-Packard as the club’s primary jersey sponsor. AIA had previously paid to sponsor the club’s jersey only in Cup competitions.
Chelsea, Samsung – $30 million
Samsung has been the main sponsor of Chelsea since the 2007-2008 season. This is the final season under the agreement, and it is unclear if the parties will renew the sponsorship.
Manchester City, Etihad Airways – $34 million
Manchester City signed a 10-year agreement with Etihad Airways in 2011, which included naming rights to the jersey, stadium and academy. Because of that, it’s hard to pin down precisely how much is attributed to its jersey sponsorship. As of early 2013, Manchester City has reportedly been shopping the jersey portion of the sponsorship arrangement. A new deal would likely represent an increase in its jersey sponsorship fee.
Liverpool, Standard Chartered – $34 million
Standard Chartered Bank has been Liverpool’s jersey sponsor since 2010-2011 and the parties recently agreed to continue the sponsorship until the end of the 2015-16 season. The bank is based out of the United Kingdom and Liverpool is its only club sponsorship.
Bayern Munich, Deutsche Telekom – $37 million
Deutsche Telekom is a German telecommunications company that is the main sponsor to the most valuable club in the Bundesliga. The sponsorship agreement expires at the end of the 2017-18 season.
Real Madrid, Emirates – $38.8 million
Emirates replaced Bwin as Real Madrid’s jersey sponsor with a five-year deal signed in 2013. In 2007 when the deal was signed with Bwin for $17 million, it was the most lucrative at the time. However, many believe that Real Madrid, the most valuable professional club in sports, has undersold its sponsorship.
Arsenal, Emirates – $40 million
Arsenal signed a five-year extension with Emirates in 2012 that will keep the Dubai-based airline as the club’s jersey sponsor until 2018-19. Emirates is signed to three of the 10 most expensive jersey sponsorship deals, with three of the most prominent clubs in Europe. In addition to those three, Emirates sponsors European clubs in France, Germany and Greece. Emirates is also an official FIFA worldwide partner.
Barcelona, Qatar Airways – $41.6 million
Qatar Airways replaced the Qatar Foundation as the club’s jersey sponsor through 2016. At the time, it was the largest jersey sponsorship agreement in sports. Barcelona’s previous deal with Qatar Foundation, signed in 2011, was the club’s first every jersey sponsorship deal.
Manchester United, Chevrolet – $80 million
While it helps to be one of the world’s most valuable sports brands, Manchester United benefits from having a newly negotiated sponsorship agreement. The previous jersey sponsor, AON, is now sponsoring the club’s training ground and kit for $25 – $30 million annually. This influx of revenue will go a long way to rebuilding a roster that finished seventh in the Premier League table last season.