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Stadium: Where the Action Begins (Part 2)

May 24, 2024

Master in Football Business

In the previous part, we looked at the matchday revenues namely tickets, hospitality and events generated across leagues and its contribution to the total revenue. In this part we will analyse stadiums as a sponsorship medium through its naming rights

Stadium Naming Rights

The quest for maximizing revenue opportunities has been peaking. With the PE funds controlling a large network of top-division clubs, it’ll be all the more essential to unlock all untapped revenue generating potential assets.

One of them is the stadium naming rights It’s interesting to note that stadiums in German Bundesliga has been able to maximise in unlocking the revenue potential whereas clubs in other ‘big 5’ leagues are way behind

Stadium: Where the Action Begins (Part 2) - SBI Barcelona

Across the ‘big 5’ leagues, clubs in German Bundesliga are far ahead in this regard, with 14 out of 18 clubs i.e. 78%, have stadium sponsors. As per the latest European benchmarking data, percentage of clubs having stadium sponsors in the other leagues

  • Premier League – 25%
  • LALIGA – 30%
  • Serie A – 20%
  • Ligue1 – 22%

Across the European Football Landscape

In the European football too, there is a lack of efforts towards utilizing stadium naming rights as revenue source. Some of the highlights:

  1. Across 700+ top-division clubs, only 18% have stadiums with naming rights
  2. Top-division clubs of 19 countries still don’t have a single stadium sponsor
  3. Countries with highest percentages of stadiums with naming rights:
    1. AUSTRIA: 83%
    2. GERMANY: 78%

The industry with most naming rights: FINANCIAL SERVICES

Stadium: Where the Action Begins (Part 2) - SBI Barcelona

Compare with Professional Sports Leagues in the USA

In a completely contrasting situation, as per GlobalData, 91% of the professional sports teams across the five leagues namely #NFL #NBA #NHL #MLB and #MLS have stadium sponsors. Further categorizing into individual sports

  • NFL: 97%
  • NBA: 97%
  • NHL: 94%
  • MLS: 90%
  • MLB: 77%

Comparison with European football leagues given below:

Stadium: Where the Action Begins (Part 2) - SBI Barcelona

Investment in Stadiums Across European Football

The visible benefits of owning stadium is seen from the above data. This has led to an increased investment in stadium construction. As per the 2024 UEFA European Club Finance & Investment Landscape report, over €1bn was invested in fixed assets in 2022 The same report clarifies the present stadium ownership conditions of over 730+ top tier clubs as given below:

Stadium: Where the Action Begins (Part 2) - SBI Barcelona

Conclusion

Stadium have come a long way. Now, it is contributing strongly to the club’s revenues and as such stadium development is seen not just as a way for clubs to improve facilities for fans, but as an opportunity to increase non-matchday revenue streams

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