According to a recent study by US-based consultancy firm Duff & Phelps, stadium naming rights remains a significantly underutilised revenue stream for Premier League clubs.
Despite football having a far greater following worldwide (with over 1.12 billion people tuned into the 2018 World Cup Final), the U.S. National Football League generated an average revenue of £310 million per team versus Premier League's £238 million per team. Income from stadium naming rights is identified as a key factor for this difference. 86% of teams in the NFL have a stadium naming rights deal worth an average of £6m per season with the average value for the 'Top 6' NFL teams worth £8.9m per season.
Duff & Phelps identifies Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal as the Premier League's 'Big 6' and estimates that Old Trafford stadium has a potential naming rights value of £26.75m per season followed by Manchester City at £21.90m.
Michael Weaver, Managing Director at Duff & Phelps and Head of EMEA Valuation Advisory said: “Multimillion-pound Premier League shirt sponsorships have been signed, multimillion-pound sleeve sponsorships are being signed, and it is only a matter of time until multimillion-pound stadium sponsorships follow. Brands just have to be courageous enough to take the first step which will bring the market alive."
It seems the question is not whether this is a huge opportunity for sponsors but rather who will take the first step?
These figures are based on the shirt sponsors and technical partner values for each club, social media followers, TV rights, current naming values, and team performance over the past three seasons.