Monthly Archives: May 2016

Sponsored Jerseys About Money

It was just a small blurb in Sports Illustrated magazine’s “By the Numbers” section two weeks ago: “$155 million — Income generated by the 20 English Premier League soccer teams this season by selling ad space on their jerseys.”

But those 21 words are causing the four major American sports leagues, its corporate partners and even fans to rethink the idea of sponsor patches on team uniforms.

“It’s definitely on the horizon,” Mark Cuban, owner of the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks, said in an exchange of e-mails with Advertising Age. “I think it’s more an issue of ‘how much’ rather than ‘if’ [it happens].”

If the English Premier League can generate $155 million, imagine what the National Football League or the NBA can do. Those are the two sports leagues that have already dipped their respective toes into the sponsorship-on-jerseys debate.

The NBA has been the most aggressive in pushing the agenda, hence Mr. Cuban’s opinion that it could be sooner than later for sponsor patches. The league-backed NBA Development League and its Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) both allow teams to sell jersey sponsorships. That exposure has even led some brands not normally associated with sports marketing to put its patch on the coveted uniform. Microsoft, for instance, placed its Bing search engine logo on the front of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm’s jerseys.

“We are always watching the WNBA and the NBA Development League to see what works and what may be an applicable business practice, and we fully recognize that the presence of corporate branding on game uniforms is a widely accepted practice on the global sports landscape, particularly in soccer,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said. “That being said, the value proposition to include branding on the NBA game uniforms has not yet presented itself.”

Mr. Cuban agreed, saying “Find me a multi-year deal at $10 million or more per year and I will make it happen.”

The NFL allows teams to sell advertising on practice jerseys, and more than half of the 32 franchises have already done so. The New York Jets signed a deal last year with Atlantic Health to sponsor their practice jerseys as well as their New Jersey-based practice facility. According to Joyce Julius & Associations, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company that evaluates sports sponsorships, Atlantic Health received nearly $200,000 in free exposure during HBO’s four-week telecast of its popular “Hard Knocks” series, which chronicles an NFL team each summer during training camp.

“We are approached annually by major companies who say that NFL jerseys represent the most valuable real estate in sports and inquire about placement of their logos,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “But we do not have any plans to do so with game jerseys.”

Parity would be an issue, of course. While that $155 million for the 20 English Premier League teams sounds great, the disparity between the top teams and the bottom is wide, just as it likely would be in American sports between franchises in New York and, say, San Jose or Oklahoma City. The EPL’s two biggest clubs, Liverpool and Manchester United, take up 40% of that ad revenue — $31 million a year for Liverpool’s deal with British financial services company Standard Chartered, and $30 million annually for Man-U’s agreement with insurance carrier Aon. Seven clubs in the EPL earn less than $1 million annually for shirt sponsorship deals.

This isn’t a recent issue, either. As leagues and teams have struggled to find new sources of revenue, the idea of putting sponsor patches on uniforms has simmered on the back burner, with an occasional switch to a front burner boil.

In 2009, MLB allowed sponsor patches on team USA jerseys at the World Baseball Classic.

In 2004, MLB tried to put the logo for the film “Spider-Man 2” on the bases as a promotion tool for the film, until a public outcry over the sanctity of the game and the field forced the league to rethink that decision.

As far back as 1999, Howard Smith, then VP-marketing for MLB, told The New York Times that the league was “talking from A to Z about our on-field programs, and bringing in additional sponsors in other formats than we have now. We’ve talked about everything. But we’re not close to anything.”

And they’re still not.

In a statement emailed to Advertising Age, an MLB spokesman wrote: “Baseball has a longstanding policy of not allowing corporate advertising on our uniforms for non-international competitions. We are continuing to monitor what appears to be an increase in the trend that places non-manufacturer corporate marks on uniforms.”

National Hockey League spokesman Kerry McGovern said, “At this time, we’d prefer not to comment.”

Jersey Sponsorship

Yesterday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke at a Sports Business Daily conference and said that the move to put sponsorship patches on team jerseys is “inevitable.” He added that this revenue-increasing tactic will likely go into practice within the next five years.

Jersey sponsorship has its roots in soccer, but it has slowly begun to creep into the other major professional sports. Here’s a brief history of the practice, including some of the more interesting jersey sponsors over the years.

THE PIONEERS

Most soccer historians credit Peñarol, a Uruguayan club team, with introducing the concept of jersey sponsorship to the sports world during the 1950s. A handful of clubs in France, Denmark, and Austria turned to jersey sponsorship as a means of bringing in a little extra money in the years that followed, but most leagues throughout the rest of Europe were vehemently opposed to the idea and prohibited member teams from featuring names or logos other than their own on their shirts.

JAGER BOMB PRECEDES SPONSORSHIP EXPLOSION

A new age in jersey sponsorship began in 1973, when Günter Mast, the nephew of Jagermeister creator Curt Mast, had the brilliant idea of placing the German liqueur’s stag and glowing cross logo on German Bundesliga squad Eintracht Braunschweig’s uniforms. Mast had previously launched a Jagermeister-sponsored motor racing team, but saw an incredible opportunity in the world’s top sport. “Through football, you could reach all sections of the population,” he said, according to a 2008 Soccernet article.

Mast paid Eintracht Braunschweig anywhere from 160,000 Marks to 800,000 Marks over five years to put the Jagermeister logo on the front of its shirts. Initially, the German football association denied the club’s request, but the league was powerless when Eintracht Braunschweig’s players voted to replace their traditional logo with the Jagermeister stag. On March 23, 1973, the team made its debut against Schalke in its new uniforms. Seven months later, the Bundesliga officially sanctioned jersey sponsorship.

ENGLAND RELUCTANTLY JOINS THE SPONSORSHIP PARTY

Three years after the Jagermeister logo debuted on the pitch in Germany, Kettering Town of the English Southern League signed a four-figure sponsorship deal with Kettering Tyres and took the field with its sponsor’s name emblazoned across the front of its shirt. When league officials ordered the club to remove the name, Kettering responded by removing the last four letters in “TYRES” and claimed that “KETTERING T” stood for Kettering Town. The league didn’t find that explanation satisfactory and threatened the club with a hefty fine before it eventually removed all of the letters. One year later, English leagues began allowing jersey sponsorship.

JERSEY SPONSORSHIP VALUES SKYROCKET

Over the last 35 years, jersey sponsorship deals have emerged as major revenue sources for clubs throughout the world, particularly in Europe. According to a report by SPORT+MARKT, the total invested in jersey sponsorship in Europe’s top five leagues doubled from 235 million euros in 2000 to 470 million euros in 2011.

One of the largest jersey sponsorship deals belongs to Manchester United, which agreed to a $131 million deal over four years with Chicago-based AON Corp after previously being sponsored by AIG.

BARCELONA SHELLS OUT, EVENTUALLY SELLS OUT

While most of their European counterparts gave in to the temptation of jersey sponsorship long ago, FC Barcelona shunned the practice for the first 111 years of its storied existence. In 2006, the club announced an unusual agreement with UNICEF, whereby it would donate $1.5 million annually to the humanitarian organization and feature the UNICEF logo on the front of its classic jerseys.

In the face of growing financial pressures, the opportunity costs of not having a corporate sponsor became too great, however, and Barcelona announced a record-setting agreement with the Qatar Foundation last December. Starting on July 1, the Qatar Foundation’s logo will appear on the front of Barcelona’s shirts and the UNICEF logo will be moved to the back. Barcelona will receive $200 million over five years from the nonprofit.

ALL SORTS OF SPONSORS

Money talks, which leads to some interesting sponsors. Here are a few of the more amusing and interesting European jersey sponsorship deals over the years.

• Clydebank – Wet Wet Wet: In 1994, the Scottish pop rock band Wet Wet Wet’s cover of The Troggs’ “Love Is All Around” spent 15 weeks atop the British charts. Following that success, the band sponsored its hometown team.

• FC Nurnberg – Mister Lady: The garment company sponsored the German Bundesliga team, making Nurnberg the target of much ridicule. There’s no need for trash talk when you can simply point to your opponent’s chest. (See also: Oxford United – Wang Computers, AC Milan – Pooh Jeans, and many more.)

• West Brom – No Smoking: From 1984 to 1986, the West Midlands Health Authority paid to have the universal No Smoking sign placed on the front of West Bromwich Albion’s jerseys. The campaign featured the slogan, “Be like Albion – kick the smoking habit.”

• Scarborough – Black Death Vodka: The English Football League banned this sponsorship shortly after it was announced in 1990. “The company is wholly reputable,” Scarborough chairman Geoffrey Richard told reporters following the announcement. “It may be just a case of overreaction. It is perhaps understandable when efforts are being made to improve the sport’s image.”

• Portsmouth – Ty: The Ohio-based company responsible for Beanie Babies had its European headquarters in Portsmouth and sponsored the English Premier League team from 2002 to 2005.

Do You Know the famous of jersey number

1.Number 10
The Jersey number 10 is now worn exclusively by the greatest players. The soccer scoreboards showed that it was worn by the legends of the game, Pele, Maradona, Zidane are only a few to name, and now it is worn by Lionel Messi, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Rooney etc. Jersey number 10 is now regarded as a legacy and is given to only those who deserve this honor. Players like Messi, Kaka, Rooney and Ronaldinho certainly are the deserving ones as they brought laurels for their respective countries. Players who wear number 10 are regarded as great players who have changed the game in some way, and who raised the bar of the game for the future.

2.Number 7
Number 7 is worn by Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. Ronaldo is known as one of the best players in the world. Although some people think that he is overrated and that fans love him more for his looks and because he has the same name as Brazil’s Ronaldo. I disagree though; Ronaldo is a great player and has brought a lot to the game of soccer. David Beckham, when started his career also wore the number 7 jersey, but he does not wear the same number now.

3.Number 23
Two players come to mind when you hear or see the number 23; Michael Jordan and David Beckham. Beckham, after moving to Real Madrid, wore the number 23 jersey as a tribute to Michael Jordan. He wears the same number when he plays his the national team, England.

4. Number 9
Though this number is not famous right now, at one point in time it was. Number 9 was worn by the Brazilian footballer, Ronaldo. He has now made way for the greats of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo but he was outstanding in his day. He was a part of the Brazilian winning team in thew 2002 World Cup.