English Premier League soccer teams are benefiting as competition between new uniform suppliers pushed up the value of team shirt contracts by 32 percent to 117.3 million pounds ($179 million).
A pair of North American companies in their first seasons with Premier League clubs are boosting the league, sports marketing company Repucom said in its 2013 European soccer uniform supplier report. Under Armour Inc. (UA) signed with Tottenham Hotspur for an undisclosed amount, while New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc.’s Warrior unit is paying five-time European champion Liverpool 25 million pounds for each of the next six seasons.
“The entrance of Warrior and the growth in Under Armour’s investment in British football has been a real shot in the arm in terms of Premier League club’s kit sponsorship incomes,” Andrew Walsh, president of global enterprise at Repucom, said in a statement. “The league’s global reach makes it a very attractive prospect for the world’s top sports merchandise manufacturers. In turn, kit contracts are becoming an ever-more relevant source of revenue for the clubs, not only at the top level, but right down the division.”
The Premier League accounts for almost 40 percent of the combined uniform sponsorship revenue across Europe’s top five leagues, which this season totals 315 million pounds.
The 20 Premier League teams earn an average of 6 million pounds a year from uniform deals, almost double the Spanish Primera Division, which is at 3.4 million pounds. Italy’s Serie A is at 2.7 million pounds, the German Bundesliga at 2.6 million pounds and France’s Ligue 1 at 1.4 million pounds.
The Premier League’s strength in being able to secure lucrative uniform agreements is the number of replica shirts teams can sell, the report said.
Approximately 5 million Premier League jerseys will be sold worldwide this season, about one million more than the 2011-12 campaign and more than double the total for the 18 Bundesliga clubs, Repucom said.
The Premier League’s average replica shirt cost of 47.60 pounds is the lowest of the five major European Leagues, according to Repucom. Serie A has the highest average priced replicas at 61 pounds.