UAE biggest investor in European football shirt sponsorship as spending rises

Revenue from shirt sponsorship in Europe’s top leagues has risen 13 per cent to €830 million (Dh3.4 billion) this season, powered by a 35 per cent increase in England’s Premier League, according to a new report.

The UAE is the biggest investor in the top six leagues with €163m spent on shirt sponsorship in 2015-16, an increase of 9 per cent on its outlay last season.

Arabian Gulf airlines lead the way, with AC Milan, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid all sponsored by Emirates, and Manchester City by Etihad Airways. Emirates is also the sponsor of England’s FA Cup competition.

The Repucom European Football Jersey Report said revenue in 2015-16 had gone up from €736m last season.

The document covered shirt sponsorship deals in the Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga, Ligue 1 in France, Italy’s Serie A and the Dutch championship.

The biggest rise was in the Premier League with shirt sponsorship revenue reaching €330m, almost 40 per cent of the total for Europe’s top six leagues.

“At its current rate of growth we could see European football shirt sponsorship investment top €1bn within the next few seasons,” said Repucom UK and Ireland managing director Jon Stainer.

“The Premier League continues to drive this trend with year on year investment growing faster than any other league on the continent. It is an industry that attracts big money from abroad which underlines the appeal European football has internationally.”

Germany (€136m) is the second highest followed by the United States (€87m), driven largely by investment from the automobile sector.

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