English Clubs Behind European Elite in Stadium Naming Rights Valuations, Duff & Phelps Research Shows

Spanish footballing giants Barcelona and Real Madrid have the largest stadium naming rights valuations among the Champions League clubs, with Manchester United and Manchester City following closely behind, according to research released today by Duff & Phelps, the global advisor that protects, restores and maximizes value for clients.

The research found that Premier League clubs are continuing to miss out on millions in potential revenue from stadium naming sponsorship deals, despite four of the biggest English sides dominating European competitions last year.

  • Barcelona (£32.00 million) and Real Madrid (£32.00 million) occupy the top spots in Europe for stadium naming rights valuations, followed by Manchester United (£26.75 million) and Manchester City (£21.90 million).
  • Premier League clubs missing out on millions in potential revenue from sponsorship deals this season, with just 30% of teams selling their stadium naming rights

Michael Weaver, Managing Director and Head of Valuation Advisory EMEA at Duff & Phelps, said: “Last year saw four of the biggest football clubs in England–Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur–reach the finals of Europe’s most prestigious competitions. That success has boosted the estimated valuations of the naming rights to their stadiums, and yet all but one has capitalized on potential sponsorship opportunities.”

“This under investment is reflected across the European elite. Only five per cent of stadium names in La Liga are sponsored, despite the fact that Barcelona–boosted by the global reach of stars like Lionel Messi–and Real Madrid’s home grounds are deemed to be the most valuable sponsorship propositions in Europe.”

“Of course, we understand that other factors are involved in the decision-making process around stadium name changes; supporters hold huge influence there, and in Spain, Italy and France stadiums are often traditionally named after former presidents or club affiliates. Nevertheless, the potential economic gain for football clubs here–whatever their size–is hard to ignore. Brands need to take that first step before the market starts to truly thrive.”

How the top English clubs fare against European rivals (Stadium Naming Rights Valuations £m):

  • FC Barcelona: £32.00
  • Real Madrid: £32.00

  • Manchester United: £26.75

  • Manchester City: £21.90

  • Bayern Munich: £17.90

  • Tottenham Hotspur: £17.50

  • Liverpool: £16.90

  • Chelsea: £16.75

  • Arsenal: £16.65

  • Juventus: £15.80

Duff & Phelps’ study suggests that the brand value of international footballing stars such as Lionel Messi (Barcelona) or Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus, previously Real Madrid)–both boasting multi-million follower bases on social media platforms–could have an impact on the naming rights valuations, as sponsors would likely need to pay a premium to be associated with them.

With the influencer marketing industry expected to reach £7.5 billion in 2020, Duff & Phelps suggests negotiating access to clubs’ and players’ social media platforms could be key to brands getting the most out of sponsorship deals and saving significant sums of money at the same time.

Germany’s Bundesliga is the most developed football naming rights market in Europe, with 80% of stadiums there sponsored by other brands. The largest single sponsor of the league comes from the finance industry (25%). Duff & Phelps suggests that this is because financial institutions, in most cases, are not simply buying the right to promote their brand on the stadium. Rather, they are buying into a football club to become its financial partner and sell other services to the club and its players.

The report also highlights the fact that all of Europe’s professional teams benefit from having their games televised around the world in some form, meaning that even the smaller football clubs and their eventual naming rights sponsors could benefit from global exposure to new and existing customers.

Notes to Editors
This research was conducted in Q3 2019. The valuation metrics include publicly available information on shirt sponsor and technical partner values, social media followers, television rights and current naming values in addition to team performance over seasons to calculate naming rights valuations. Premier League values were calculated from the Duff & Phelps Premier League Study and converted into Euros at the time of the analysis. All stadium naming rights value estimates have been rounded to the nearest €50,000. 

Limitations of the Study
The analysis and estimates presented in this study are based on extensive research on publicly available secondary sources of information. We have not undertaken any independent verification or carried out any due diligence on the data used or considered, nor have we verified its factual accuracy in the current context.

The conclusions provided in this study shall not be construed as marketing advice and the valuations provided in the study shall not be used for any other purpose other than general research and media consumption. Duff & Phelps and its affiliates expressly disclaim all liability for any loss or damage of whatever kind which may arise from any person acting on any information and opinions or analyses relating to the valuations contained in this study.

The valuation of intangible assets is not a precise science and the conclusions arrived at in many cases will of necessity be subjective and dependent on the exercise of individual judgment. There is therefore no indisputable single value and we normally express our opinion on the value as falling within a likely range. Others may place a different value on the various rights. All trademarks, trade names, or logos referenced herein are the property of the respective companies and owners.

About Duff & Phelps
Duff & Phelps is the global advisor that protects, restores and maximizes value for clients in the areas of valuation, corporate finance, investigations, disputes, cyber security, compliance and regulatory matters, and other governance-related issues. We work with clients across diverse sectors, mitigating risk to assets, operations and people. With Kroll, a division of Duff & Phelps since 2018, our firm has nearly 3,500 professionals in 28 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.duffandphelps.co.uk

Read the full report here

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