As rivals argue over Manchester City football clubs’ £400m ($642.2m) sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways – both owned by Abu Dhabi – it has taken the title as football’s biggest sponsorship deal ever and will no doubt leave its Premierships rivals green with jealousy. What follows are ten other equally impressive mega bucks deals by top European football clubs.
The Italian club was the Dubai-based airline’s second biggest shirt deal and the 2010 deal saw it replace Austrian online betting group bwin. However, the deal did not include the sale of a stake in the club as some media outlets had previously reported.
The Spanish team’s previous 2006 deal with Taiwanese mobile phone giant BenQ went soar when the firm went bust, but in 2007 it signed a deal with Austrian online gambling firm Bwin. It has also had a deal with Adidas since 1998 and both have helped make the club the richest in football history, with revenue of around €438.6m ($625m).
Industry sources say this deal is performance related and the telecoms giant will have to pay the German team even more if its rankings improve, but with it coming runner up in the German league, there is little more the team can other than lift the trophy in 2011. The deal lasts until 2013 so there is still time.
Liverpool ended their long-association with Danish beer brand Carlsberg when they signed a four-year deal with Standard Chartered Bank in Sept 2009. The bank, which is listed on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges, had previously tried to sponsor the club’s fierce rivals Manchester United.
The 2006 deal between Arsenal and Dubai-based airline Emirates Airline was the biggest of its kind before its Abu Dhabi rival went one better. In 2010, Emirates said it is hoping to renew its partnership with Arsenal Football Club when its current deal expires in 2021. Arsenal’s kit manufacturing deal is with Nike.
London team Chelsea, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, renewed its multi-million pound deal with Korean electronics giant Samsung in 2008. The clubs also has a kit manufacturing deal with Adidas.
The Spanish club had previously refused to allow logos on their jerseys, but a favourable deal from the shirt manufacturers and tougher economic conditions saw them quickly change its mind.
Signed in December 2010, the Qatar Foundation deal was reported as a record shirt sponsorship deal with Barcelona, which was for around $235m. The deal with the Qatar Foundation, which promotes education and research in the Middle East, was criticised at the time by former Dutch superstar Johan Cruyff who said it was “sullying the jersey” of a team that had previously refused to put a logo on its shirts.
Signed in 2005 between the Italian club and the Libyan oil company, the deal was for five years and renewable for up to ten. However, when scandal struck the Turin-based club and it was relegated, the deal turned sour and the Libyans backed out.
Signed in 2002, this was the biggest deal at the time before Etihad and Manchester City clinched the top title. Signed in 2002, Nike replaced Umbro as the club’s kit provider and the deal included the team’s global licensing and retail operations. In 2009, The English clubs also signed a $128m four-year deal with US firm insurance operator Aon Corp, replacing previous sponsor AIG.