Market Insight: Premier League clubs dominate global sponsorship index

Market Insight: Premier League clubs dominate global sponsorship index
According to the POWA Index, 14 of the top 20 most commercially valuable sports rights-holders worldwide are football rightsholders. LaLiga's Real Madrid and Barcelona show the highest value while Premier League clubs dominate the top 20 with a total of six clubs.

This analysis was compiled by the POWA Index by using artificial intelligence to rank the commercial impact of sponsorship rights-holders. Analysing trillions of data points across social media reach, social media engagement, on-field performances and online searches, POWA's index show that, while the NBA is the world's top sport property, football is the leading sport with 14 properties amongst the top 20. 

The top Premier League club, Manchester United (key sponsors include – Chevrolet, adidas), doesn’t feature until 6th position, behind Real Madrid (2nd – Emirates, Microsoft)  and Barcelona (3rd – Nike, Qatar Airways) but is joined in the global elite by Arsenal (9th - Emirates, Puma), Liverpool (10th -  Standard Chartered, New Balance), Chelsea (13th – Yokahama Tyres, Carabao) Manchester City (18th – Ethihad Airways, Nissan) and The Premier League itself (5th - EA Sports, Coca-Cola).  

Overall, football is the leading sport in the POWA Index with 13 rights-holders in the top 20 including The UEFA Champions League (7th – Sony, Mastercard) and FIFA World Cup (15th – McDonalds, VISA).  Real Madrid were only knocked-off the top spot by the NBA when they sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus. 

Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at Juventus (Jeep, adidas) propelled them into 12th but they are the only Italian club in the top 20.  It’s a similar story for Ligue 1 (Paris St Germain in 14th – Qatar Airways) and the Bundesliga (Bayern Munich in 20th – T-Mobile, Allianz).

While the commercial potential of La Liga is formidable, with Real Madrid and Barcelona 30% more valuable than their next rival club (Manchester United), it suffers from a lack of depth with Atletico Madrid (Plus500) the next best team in 47th position. 

POWA Index Commissioner, Michael Flynn, commented:

‘Cristiano Ronaldo’s move from Real Madrid to Juventus indicates that the world’s top sports clubs are now scouting players on commercial potential as well as their playing attributes.  And it is notable that Real Madrid lost their position at the top of the POWA Index as a result of the transfer.

‘‘The Premier League is regarded as the most competitive sports league in the world and this is reflected in the breadth of their representation in the POWA Index top 20.  Much of this is due to the way the Premier League has shared its broadcasting revenues equally amongst its clubs, while La Liga originally allowed Real Madrid and Barcelona to strike its own deals.  They have also been able to enhance their value even further by replacing one title sponsor with a range of globally famous brands including Coca-Cola, Nike, EA, and Cadbury.

‘What is clear is that sport is becoming more global than ever and The Premier League and its clubs should be actively trying to learn from the NBA and The NFL, while the American sports can gather insights into football’s approach to growing its fan-base around the world.’

To mark its launch, the POWA Index has released a range of analysis graphics and tables exploring the commercial performance of the world’s best rights-holders including the top 20 most searched rights-holders online, the top 20 performers on Instagram, the top 20 on Facebook and the top 20 on Twitter.  To get these insights, follow POWA Index on Twitter and Instagram.

To follow the POWA Index top 20 in real-time, throughout the year, visit  For a demonstration contact

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