Travel brands set to invest $319.42m in front of shirt sponsorships across European soccer

From across its 18 major shirt sponsorships across the 15 biggest European soccer leagues, this season the travel sector is set to be responsible for $319.42m sponsorships – the most of any sector, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s report, ‘Front of Shirt Sponsorship Report 2020-21’, the travel sector is followed by financial services with $201.1m sponsorships and automotive with $166.2m.

Jake Kemp, Sports Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “While the travel, and in particular, the aviation sector has struggled immensely to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the brands involved in these partnerships are related to state-backed airlines, which are unlikely to be hit as hard as other failing travel-based brands. In particular, United Arab Emirates (UAE) state-backed Emirates airline stands as the most visible individual brand across European soccer, with five unique deals across five different domestic leagues.”

Elsewhere in European soccer, gambling and gaming brands continue to hold widespread visibility through shirt sponsorships, despite the ethical questioning of the sectors involvement in the sport, and introduction of new laws banning these types of partnerships in leagues such as La Liga.

Kemp continues: “In total, there will be 40 unique deals across Europe that feature gambling-related brands – the most of any sector. The relationship between the gambling sector and soccer remains strong, as soccer is one of the most bet on markets in global sport. In particular, it is the largest European leagues – holding the biggest gambling influence (from a shirt sponsorship perspective). The Premier League boasts eight such deals, and the Spanish La Liga boasts seven deals.”

Collectively, across the 15 biggest soccer leagues in Europe, front of shirt partnerships generate an estimated $1.44bn each year, for which the Premier League stands as the most lucrative, generating $409.31m each season.

Kemp concludes: “The value of these shirt partnerships in Europe continues to stay lucrative because of the global reach and online presence of the sport worldwide. This reach, particularly for the biggest clubs in each country, should help them potentially avoid too large a drop in the commercial value of these deals, despite COVID-19, with the lower ranked teams in each league expected to be more negatively impacted.”

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