NFL makes most profit from naming rights in North America but Europe market falls significantly short in comparison, says GlobalData

A whopping 91% of all venues used in the NFL are subject to a title naming partnership. Coupled with the fact that the league boasts the biggest and some of the most famous stadias worldwide, this means that the league generates the most income from stadium naming rights deals, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Jake Kemp, Sport Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The fruitful NFL naming rights landscape reflects the market in North America more widely. Other leagues also boast a substantial number of deals, with the NBA and NHL seeing 93.33% and 96.76% representation of venues with active title deals, respectively. However, Europe paints a very different picture, with home venues here seeing more history and fan synergy.

“In the US and Canada, there is no guarantee that a team will not relocate to a new market, so no team can hold the same level of attachment to a particular venue. Fans in Europe are also far less open to change and hold significant links to stadia names such as ‘Old Trafford’ and ‘Anfield’. This is partly because, when comparing the average opening years of key stadiums, there is a clear age gap between the two continents.”

Kemp continues: “The average age of stadiums in Europe is far older, with the average age ranging between 51 and 78 years old – compared with North American venues, which are between only 18 and 30 years. An older stadium has had time to develop a much stronger sense of history: special moments, captivating wins and disastrous losses. For these reasons, an incoming title sponsorship deal in Europe is likely to be met with angry backlash from club supporters, while in North America it is just part of the norm.”

The size of stadiums also boasts some synergy in relation to the North American market.

Kemp notes: “That the NFL, which has the largest stadium capacity, banked the most from these deals demonstrates the influence of stadium size. However, other leagues on the continent such as the NBA and NHL, which can each only boast an average of 18,500 fans, also see a number of large financial deals. In Europe, the size of the stadium ranges between 32,897 and 42,443 fans each, placing it among the top five North American leagues.”

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