English Premier League: Getting Ready for Shirt Sleeve Sponsors

Sponsor logos are set to adorn the sleeves of English Premier League clubs as a recent change to the league’s rules and regulations has made it possible for clubs to feature a sponsor logo on the right sleeve from the start of the 2017/18 season.

Beko’s logo adorns the left sleeve of FC Barcelona

Shirt sleeve sponsorship is already present in the Spanish La Liga and French Ligue 1, not to mention South American football, where some shirts have basically become more of an advertising space. Club Pachuca, who play in the Mexican Liga MX recently unveiled a special tribute shirt in honour of the victims of the Chapecoense plane crash, adding #FuerzaChape to their shirt. As can be seen below, the shirt features 9 logos on the shirt, in addition to the kit manufacturer and club crest, and not counting any logos featured at the back.

Club Pachuca tribute shirt to  Chapecoense

Current Sponsorship Rules in the English Premier League

The English FA’s current stance on kit advertising:

The following advertising is permitted:

  1. Playing kit
    (a) On the clothing of a Player on the field of play, the following areas shall be permitted to be used for advertising
  • One single area not exceeding 200 square centimetres on the front of the shirt
  • One single area not exceeding 100 square centimetres on the back of the shirt; and
  • One single area not exceeding 100 square centimetres on the back of the shorts.
  • Once only on each sock tie-up providing it does not exceed an area of 100 square centimetres.

In the event that a Club or Competition elects to have an area of sponsor advertising only on the front of the shirt, and on no other item of playing kit, that area may be increased to a maximum of 250 square centimetres if approved by the Competition.

One or more company may be advertised and, in respect of any one company, one or more of its products. The same advertising must appear in the same form on the clothing of all Players and Club Officials, wherever such advertising appears, throughout the entirety of the match.

Shirt Sleeve Sponsorship to boost income

The update to the new rules and regulations mean that Premier League clubs will be allowed to feature sponsors on the right sleeve, whilst the left sleeve will be reserved for the official league’s logo. So far, no Premier League club has announced a sleeve sponsor however, it is rumoured that clubs are looking to gain 8-figure sums in exchange for an advertising place on their right sleeve. At least two clubs will however miss out on this opportunity because of exclusivity agreements they currently have with their current main shirt sponsor.

The left sleeve will remain exclusive to the Premier League logo

Sports marketing agency SportsQuake believes that shirt sleeve sponsorship would be equivalent to around 15% to 20% of the club’s main shirt sponsorship value. This would be worth around £10m a-year to Manchester United, who currently earn £47m a-year from their deal with Chevrolet. It is rumoured that around 10 clubs are seeking a collective sleeve sponsorship deal to further boost the value of the deal.