MANCHESTER United football club could earn up to £17m a year if it follows Manchester City’s lead to sell the sponsorship naming rights to its stadium, according to valuation experts American Appraisal.
Of the 20 clubs in the Premier League only two have sold off sponsorship naming rights to their stadiums – Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium – potentially leaving some £50m in licensing rights on the table.
“The real opportunity is for those clubs who have not yet made the leap of faith to re-name their stadiums. There is untapped revenue and when it comes to negotiating shirt sponsorship, stadium naming rights has to be a strong consideration too,” said American Appraisal managing director Mike Weaver.
Stadium naming sponsorships are not without issues, Wonga’s recent sponsorship of Newcastle United saw it remove the previous sponsor’s name from the stadium only to bring back its original name, due to the team’s supporters wanting to see its original name returned.
For the clubs selling the sponsorships they remain an attractive proposition.
The Union of European Football Associations financial fair play regulations state that football clubs cannot spend more than they earn, meaning additional revenues are increasingly important for teams looking to invest in players or their stadiums.
“The UK stadium naming rights market is still in its infancy versus shirt sponsorship. But at £75m annually it’s a great contributor to the bottom line of club’s profit and loss accounts,” said Weaver.