Andrew Polwarth said whether you like it or not, it’s all over the sport. It’s on the players’ shirts, in the stadium, in the players’ heads, and the owners’ hands. If football is a religion, then the money is god to many. Thousands of dollars are exchanged each week between clubs and players, fans and ticket offices, and sponsors and clubs. Professional football does exemplify the capitalist notion that if there is money to be earned, someone will figure out how to make it. Although money plays a role in practically every facet of the game, there are a few areas where it has a particularly big influence: stadium naming rights, jersey sponsorship deals, and player transfer fees and sponsorships.
Money in football
It’s usually a good idea to start any discussion about money in football with the league that makes the most money. The English Football League’s first division clubs quit on February 20, 1992, and the Premier League was founded in May of that year. The primary purpose of the merger was to take advantage of Sky TV’s huge television contract. Sky TV paid £191 million in 1992 for five years of Premier League television rights, and Sky and Setanta paid £1.7 billion in 2007 according to Andrew Polwarth.
But the television deals were just the beginning; in 2001, Barclaycard paid £48 million for the league’s name rights, which they renewed for £65.8 million in 2007. The teams’ choice to start their league, in short, paid off handsomely. Years ago, after amateur football and the advent of professional football, the journey to the Premier League began. In 1961, the maximum wage was repealed, and the transfer system was made significantly more forgiving in 1963. English football became more and more of a free market as player movement and salary became more unrestricted. The basic capitalism ideas took hold. Football was transforming, and there was money to be made.
Naming rights to a stadium
In the past, stadia in England call after the locality in which they build. There is no corporate identity associated with Old Trafford, White Hart Lane, or Stamford Bridge, for example. Stadium naming rights became one route for clubs to amass even greater fortunes as money became more and more a part of the Premier League. Arsenal agreed with Emirates Airline in 2004 to rename their new Ashburton Grove stadium the Emirates Stadium. Emirates paid the team £100 million for 15 years of stadium name rights and 8 years of jersey naming rights. Arsenal, understandably, was ecstatic with the contract, declaring that “the combined value of both aspects of the sponsorship is by far the largest deal ever negotiated in English football.”
Peter Hill-Wood, the club’s former chairman, was more hesitant, admitting that he would have loved to name the stadium after an Arsenal legend, “but things have changed in sport, and this is a wonderful offer we have received the largest ever in English football.” “We have to go on.” In other words, Hill-Wood had no qualms about using oil money to fund one of the most contemporary stadiums ever built. Things had changed in football; clubs were now modern enterprises, and their stadiums served as their corporate offices and the public face of their operations.
In the 1990s
“The main English teams reinvented themselves in the 1990s, building a plethora of facilities never seen before at football grounds; restaurants, museums, supermarkets, even hotels clung to the stadiums like lucrative barnacles,” says Andrew Polwarth. For football fans, the game had become a foreign continent. The 1990s England, on the other hand, proved to a land of plenty for those with money invested in the major football clubs.” Any company willing to spend a few million pounds to get their name out on television received excellent exposure. Every Saturday and Sunday, millions of people tune in to watch football. Every one of them is a prospective consumer.
Except for the Masters, all modern American sports collect excessive amounts of money for advertising time during the numerous televised time-outs during a game. The cost of advertising during this year’s Super Bowl on NBC was $3 million for 30 seconds of broadcast time. Advertisers have a limited number of opportunities to air advertising during football games (only halftime provides a chance for actual in-game commercials). Because of the constant flow of football. Businesses have discovered that the player’s chest is an even more effective spot to promote.
Sponsorship Opportunities in Jersey
The name on the front of a football jersey is perhaps the most visible type of advertising in football. Carlsberg, Fly Emirates, AIG, and Samsung have all contributed their names to some of the Premier League’s top clubs. Many fans believe that naming the sponsor on the front of the shirt is easier than naming the starting lineup. Fans that purchase jerseys are not only supporting their club. But they are also aiding in the promotion of the brand on the shirt. The sponsor’s name on the shirt, on the other hand. Provides the company with free advertising every time a player enters the field. Their teams might play in an empty stadium and yet generate a profit of millions of pounds.”
Jersey sales alone may bring in millions of pounds for clubs each year. With so much money to earn. It’s difficult to imagine any team resisting the appeal of putting a name on the front of the jersey.
Notre Dame Football
Most Americans find this surprising because none of the big professional leagues have sponsors on their uniforms (except of course for the maker of the jersey) as per Andrew Polwarth. Notre Dame Football is famous for not even putting the player’s name on the back of their shirt. Valuing the team’s importance and tradition over the individual. Barcelona FC has taken a similar position in the past by refusing to have a corporate sponsor on their jersey. Barça has gone even farther in the past, offering the front of their shirt to UNICEF in a contract that paid the UN’s foundation. Over a million pounds a year, and now by allowing the Qatar Foundation to use their facility. Which focuses on promoting education, science and research, and community building.
Although both appear to be philanthropic organizations, the Qatar Foundation will provide Barcelona $232 million over five years. Previously, Barcelona could have claimed a superior moral standing by refusing to succumb to the money-driven. Nature of modern soccer during their period of wearing UNICEF’s logo on the front of their jerseys. However, in today’s global football environment. When each team strives to make the most money possible, moral standing no longer has the same weight as the almighty dollar.
Individual Sponsorships and Transfers
Real Madrid smashed their record by buying Brazilian Kaka from AC Milan for £56.1 million in June of this year. After paying £45 million on Zinedine Zidane in a record-breaking transfer move. Real Madrid, not to outdone by themselves, went on to buy Portuguese prodigy Cristiano Ronaldo for £80 million from an equally spendthrift Manchester United. This is a significant increase over the first three-digit transfer price, which was £100 in 1893 when Scottish forward Willie Groves transferred from West Bromwich Albion to Aston Villa as mentioned by Andrew Polwarth. This kind of money demonstrates how far football has progressed since its inception.
Many players have achieved super-celebrity status. And their skill to play isn’t the only thing they may provide to a squad. Some players are so well-known and well-recognized that their mere presence on a team is enough to draw crowds to the stadium and generate revenue for the team. For example, when Pele joined the New York Cosmos of the now-defunct North American Soccer League in 1975, the squad experienced an immediate transformation: “The impact of Pele’s signing was seismic.” They have previously given out tickets in exchange for Burger King Coupons and bumper stickers. When the ground surpassed its 22,500 capacity, they had to seal the gates.”