Premier League football is not just one of the most popular and widely followed sports on the planet.
It is also among the most lucrative, generating around £3 billion every year. For major corporations, the Premier League, with its global TV audiences and millions of online followers, is the ideal forum to get brands noticed and win valuable new business.
It runs deeper, even, than having some of the most famous celebrities and iconic venues acting as brand ambassadors.
Every year, millions of replica shirts are sold to loyal fans – every single one of them becomes a walking billboard for the sponsors.
Here, we run through the companies that have invested the most in Premier League sponsorship.
General Motors – Manchester United
There is no bigger team in the world of football than the Red Devils, and most companies would give their eye teeth to have their company logo on all those United shirts that are sold across the world.
If eye teeth have a financial value, General Motors place it at around £50 million per year – that’s how much those Chevrolet logos are costing on the United shirts.
Betway – West Ham United
Online gambling sites are becoming increasingly common sponsors in the sporting world.
Sites like UK CasinoOnline help to demystify the choice available to gamblers by outlining the different deals on offer – click here to take a look – but they say that many punters tend towards the familiar, and thanks to its long-running deal with West Ham, Betway attracts plenty of customers.
To them, it is worth a cool £10 million per year.
Emirates – Arsenal
For some sponsors, it is about more than just logos on shirts.
Middle Eastern airline Emirates changed the face of Arsenal’s ground and the entire neighbourhood with its massive investment and regeneration project, and the work just keeps continuing.
The sponsorship deal is worth £30 million per year, but for local residents, the partnership is priceless.
AIA – Tottenham Hotspur
Another deal that has become synonymous with ground redevelopment is the one Tottenham have in place with Hong Kong based insurance firm AIA.
They recently signed an extension to 2022.
It is worth in the region of £16 million per year, but with naming rights for the new stadium still up for grabs, there is every chance that number could go up as negotiations progress.
Yokohama – Chelsea
Chelsea has a reputation as being the wealthiest club in the Premier League thanks to its Russian connections, but this £200 million five year deal with Japan’s leading tyre firm, Yokahama Rubber, certainly helps, too.
The agreement was signed back in 2015 and has become steadily stronger from one year to the next.
Etihad – Manchester City
No Premier League discussion can be complete without a look at the team that is dominating the table. Their primary sponsor is another Middle Eastern airline.
Etihad was relatively unknown to all but regular business travellers, but all that changed when the logo started appearing on the shirts of Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering heroes.
The deal costs Etihad £35 million per year, and given the way City have been performing this year, they must think it is worth every penny.