In Spain, Italy and France it is a tradition to name stadiums after former presidents or club affiliates. For example, Real Madrid’s ‘Santiago Bernabeu’ is named after the former club president, who is considered one of the most important individuals in Real Madrid’s history.
From 2009 to 2018, Spanish clubs won seven Champions League titles and six Europa League titles. Recently, however, the Champions League and Europa League have been dominated by English teams. Both 2019 finals were all English affairs with Liverpool beating Tottenham and Chelsea beating Arsenal. Clubs must maximize their revenues to be able to afford the best players. One strategy to accomplish this would be to sell their stadium naming rights. Against this backdrop, Duff & Phelps has estimated the naming rights values for the ‘Last 16’ of the 2018/2019 Champions League below.
Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Schalke 04 and Manchester City are the only teams included in the Duff & Phelps Champions League study that have stadium naming rights deals in place.
Barcelona and Real Madrid are tied at the top of Duff & Phelps’ study with the value of their stadium naming rights estimated at €36.50 million per season. Whilst Barcelona’s international performance has not been as strong in recent years, they do have Lionel Messi on their book, who is the second most followed footballer on Instagram with 133 million followers, behind Cristiano Ronaldo who has 186 million followers. Messi’s global reach increases Barcelona’s global popularity and brand value because a brand would likely pay a premium to be associated with Barcelona.
Real Madrid and Barcelona also offer interesting future naming rights prospects with both teams in the process of significantly upgrading their current stadiums. Real Madrid is planning to wrap the Santiago Bernabeu in a titanium LED skin and is installing a retractable roof, pedestrian zone and expanding the existing shopping center, club shop and club museum. Barcelona investigated the prospect of building a new stadium nearby but opted to renovate the current Camp Nou. The proposed renovations will redesign the exterior, refurbish the interior, increase capacity from 99,000 to 105,000 and install new handball, futsal and hockey facilities. The upgrades are estimated to cost €550 million and €650 million for Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively, with Barcelona planning to fund a significant portion of the development cost through a stadium naming rights sponsorship.
Real Madrid and Barcelona are not the only teams investing in their stadiums. Tottenham recently moved to a new state of the art 62,000 seater stadium while other Premier League teams, including Chelsea and Everton, are planning to develop new stadiums that will likely attract sponsorship interest from companies that want to be associated with large clubs. Looking at the figures from Duff & Phelps’ studies, Premier League teams account for six of the European top ten with Manchester United third behind Real Madrid and Barcelona with an estimate of €30.50 million while Manchester City are fourth with an estimate of €24.95 million. Bayern Munich is in the fifth position, closely followed by Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. (see Figure 03).
To understand which businesses would likely be interested in European stadium sponsorship, Duff & Phelps analyzed the sponsors of both the NFL, with over 80% of stadiums sponsored, and Germany’s Bundesliga, Europe’s most developed football stadium naming rights market.