Football clubs: time to shun shirt sponsors?

Teams in the top European football leagues could shun a shirt sponsor for the upcoming season as their guaranteed income from new broadcast deals leads them to assess their commercial priorities.

That was the prediction made on this week's episode of SB Weekly by Antony Marcou, CEO of Sports Revolution, the sports media and rights agency that works with teams and leagues to boost revenues across their commercial portfolio.

"New TV deals are changing everything - not just in the UK. The immediate pressure to bring in shirt sponsorships just isn't there anymore. I had a detailed meeting with the commercial team at a major Premier League club recently and they told me it's not about the money anymore - it's about the tangibles," Marcou said.

"I'll make a prediction - and I could be wrong - but you may see shirts in the Premier League and La Liga go empty this season. That's not because clubs can't find sponsors, but if their lowest hanging fruit is to put a bookmaker on the shirt - which could damage the image of the club and mean they'll sell less shirts to kids - maybe they'll view the £2 million a year it brings in not worth it anymore."

Download the podcast from Wednesday June 22 to hear Antony talk about:

  • Bringing tried and tested marketing methods from outside sport, into sport

  • Judging which new technologies can add value for sports teams and leagues

  • How senior commercial roles are merging at major rights-holders

  • The proudest deal of his career in the business of sport to date

  • What the sports industry Ubers and Airbnbs could be in the future.