With the financial fair play era looming, clubs are on the look for new income streams. “Old” income streams are match day income (tickets etc), licensing, broadcasting deals, selling players and sponsorship deals. New income streams are very dependent on technological improvements andÂ innovations – we are not getting into that now, especially because most clubs are yet to grasp that.
Anyhow, ticket sales are probably reaching their maximum as fans already pay over the odds. It also seems that without a major change in leagues format broadcasting deals will also grow stale. That leaves us with sponsorship deals as the only major income source that is far from reaching its potential. An executive in AON, Manchester United’s main sponsors, confirms that in a chat with soccerissue.
“There is no better platform to get your name known”, says the AON executive. “AON is a huge company and is well known amongst big companies, but it had to make the brand known better around small and mediocre companies and the Manchester United deal did just that”.
As a result of the sponsorship, according to SmartMoney, Aon has already reaped some benefits.
“It got us more awareness in medium and small business”, says the AON executive, “there isn’t a better platform for that”. The platform is so good that in AON they call the £20m the pay Manchester United a “bargain”.
As part of the deal with the football giant, the cooperation even changed its Logo’s colors, its motto (now it’s We Are United – AON United) and it even prints Manchester United’s crest on its business cards.
The cooperation is also enjoying the privilege of closing deals with happy customers who were sent by AON to games in Old Trafford. “AON earns a lot of money from these deals, which are wrapped up, also, because the customers are happy about attending these games”.
The executive also says that AON doesn’t think about renewing the deal at the moment. That’s because the company might “squeeze the deal to the full in three years time”. Anyhow, with a lot of important information gained by the partnership with AON, Manchester United might get a a lot more more from its next main sponsorship deal.
AON is a much bigger company than Manchester United. It’s annual revenue stands on more than $7 billion while United’s is less than $500m. However, Manchester United is an enormous global brand, with about 14m fans on facebook, while AON has less than 300.
To conclude, football has a lot of power over sponsors. It’s the most popular kid on the block. Therefore, clubs should squeeze companies as much as they can. Football authorities should also come to realize that the more exposure their leagues achieve the more sponsors will pay hence pay per view channels, that pay the big bucks for now, might be a thing of the past. Free YouTube viewing, allowing sponsors to be exposed more, might be the future.
Football might not have the finance of the cooperate world but it’s loved by the masses and it’s a much more positive thing than companies that make their money by, say, selling medicines that don’t cure anything or restaurants chain that sale children poison masquerade as food.
It may not be as noble as Robin Hood’s actions but getting money from the rich and making the game more approachable for the poor is also a very positive thing to do.