EPL tops European kit league
17 Apr 2012
The combined value of English Premier League (EPL) kit deals has hit Eur109.7 million this season, making it the most lucrative market in European football for apparel contracts.
The 2012 European Football Kit Supplier Report, conducted by Sport+Markt and PR Marketing, details that English top flight clubs averaged Eur5.5 million in revenue from kit deals in 2011-12, compared to an average of Eur3.3 million across Europe’s ‘top five’ leagues. Premier League clubs will sell approximately four million jerseys this year, almost double that of the German Bundesliga. However, Andrew Walsh, head of international affairs at Sport+Markt, stated the reasons for the appeal of Premier League clubs’ kit rights are not solely connected to sales figures.
“The global reach of the English Premier League makes it a very attractive prospect for the world’s top sports merchandise manufacturers and, in turn, kit contracts are becoming an ever-more relevant source of income for the clubs,” he said. “It’s not only about how many shirts you can sell, but about generating brand interest and loyalty and taking advantage of media exposure. Refinancing is also a major aspect – beyond simply supplying equipment, brands are looking to expand licensing agreements with the top clubs across the merchandising spectrum.”
Sport+Markt believes the growth trend that has allowed the kit supply market to grow by 48% in Europe’s top leagues since 2005 looks set to continue. Walsh added: “What we’re also seeing now is that more up-and-coming manufacturers are entering the market and laying down the gauntlet to the traditional giants Adidas and Nike. There are now 28 different equipment brands active in the ‘big five’ leagues. You only have to look at the scale of Liverpool’s new deal with Warrior, which kicks in next season, to gain a strong impression of where the market is going.” Overall, Adidas and Nike account for 44% of the total Eur330 million spent by equipment manufacturers to secure rights for clubs from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 this season alone.