Football sponsorship: Soccer's treasure chest

As the Premier League clubs prepare for another season, Richard Gillis finds out how much this year's sponsors paid to put their names on a shirt
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The Independent Online

Manchester United

Main sponsor: AIG (Insurance)

Cost per annum: £14.125m

Kit supplier: Nike

The AIG deal is worth £56.5m over four years, Nike paid the club £303m for licensing rights, and Budweiser is the club's official beer. Still no word on why former Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Lee Daley, lasted only four months as commercial director last year.


Main sponsor: Samsung (Electronics)

Cost per annum: £10m

Kit supplier: Adidas

Football sponsorship is a key battleground in the ultra competitive consumer electronics market. South Korean giant Samsung grabbed the Chelsea shirt after they lost out to Sony for Uefa Champions League and Fifa World Cup rights. As an IOC partner Samsung also sponsored the Olympic torch relay around the world, escorted by the controversial men in blue suits.


Main sponsor: Carlsberg (Brewing)

Cost per annum: £7m

Kit supplier: Adidas

Carlsberg's 15-year commitment is the longest commercial relationship in British football, but the club may seek a shirt and naming rights deal to fund their long-awaited new stadium, which may test the brewers resolve. Last year, striker Fernando Torres sold more shirts than any player in the Premier League, not including those carrying his own El Niño brand.

Newcastle United

Main sponsor: Northern Rock (Finance)

Cost per annum: £5m

Kit supplier: Adidas

The nationalisation of Northern Rock means Kevin Keegan's team is partly funded by the taxpayer despite being owned by billionaire retailer Mike Ashley. Calls to end the relationship have fallen on deaf ears: "I believe it is in the commercial interest of the bank that we should continue," said N. Rock.


Main sponsor: Emirates (Airline)

Cost per annum: £5m

Kit supplier: Nike

Arsene Wenger has transformed "boring Arsenal" into one of the most aspirational brands in football, but his antipathy to summer tours means the club won't be "taking the live experience" to America or the Far East soon, despite the chance of free Emirates flights. Back home, the Emirates stadium has become a London landmark.

Tottenham Hotspur

Main sponsor: (Casino and Poker)

Cost per annum: £5m

Kit supplier: Puma

Spurs were the second choice for Mansion, which came close to a deal with Manchester United. The sponsor accused United of "double-dealing", while the club said concerns over the gambling and casino link turned them off.

Aston Villa

Main sponsor: Acorns (Children's Hospice)

Cost per annum: Free

Kit supplier: Nike

Randy Lerner, Villa's American owner, has taken a leaf out of Barcelona's tie-up with Unicef, Villa gave their shirt free to a local children's hospice, costing the club around £5m a year in revenue.


Main sponsor: Chang (Brewing)

Cost per annum: £2.6m

Kit supplier: Umbro

Chang is part of the ThaiBev brewing giant and the deal is testimony to the Premier League's international TV reach. Alcohol sponsorship of sport is set to come under renewed pressure as the government acts on binge drinking – acting on advice from the Portman Group, the brand has chosen to remove its logo from children's shirts.

Manchester City

Main sponsor: Thomas Cook

Cost per annum: £1m

Kit supplier: Le Coq Sportif

No Ronaldinho to sell the City shirt as the Brazilian star chose Milan, and fans and sponsors will take little consolation that his new club played in the Thomas Cook Cup, a pre-season tournament. Thomas Cook is into its sixth year as sponsor – and fans are four times as likely to book holidays with the firm.

Hull City

Main sponsor: Karoo (Internet Service Provider)

Cost per annum: £800,000

Kit supplier: Umbro

The newly promoted club hopes this year's shirt will fare better than a previous Tiger skin incarnation, which was voted worst ever football kit in a poll of readers of The Sun. Karoo is a local ISP owned by Kingston Communications, which is the monopoly web supplier for Hull.

Blackburn Rovers

Main sponsor: Crown Paints

Cost per annum: £1.5m

Kit supplier: Umbro

Manufacturing problems at Umbro's factory unfortunately meant the launch of the new shirt was delayed and the club took a hit in all important pre-season shirt sales. After an absence of over a decade, the Crown Paints logo comes back into football. The local brand was one of the first shirt sponsors and is synonymous with Liverpool in the Kenny Dalglish era.

West Ham United

Main sponsor: XL Holidays

Cost per annum: £1m

Kit supplier: Umbro

There are two views of the new away kit. The official line is that it recalls Hammers heroes such as Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. Some fans see it differently: "It's a rip off of that crappy Seventies England shirt," wrote one blogger, "must've taken them about 10 minutes to think that one up, thanks for nothing!"

Wigan Athletic

Main sponsor: JJB (Retailer)

Cost per annum: £1m

Kit supplier: Champion

Wigan chairman and JJB Sports founder Dave Whelan dropped Umbro in favour of Champion when Umbro were hit by England's failure to qualify for Euro 2008. Umbro was bought by Nike, which paid £285m to consolidate its position against arch-rivals adidas. The white England shirt is still the best-selling replica kit worldwide and Umbro's deal with the FA is due to run to 2014.


Main sponsor: OKI (Printers)

Cost per annum: £800,000

Kit supplier: Canterbury

Last year's FA Cup win gave Japanese printer manufacturer OKI some welcome additional worldwide exposure. The club is supporting the OKI Street Arts Community initiative, encouraging school-aged children to get involved in the arts, and the company's PR agency Whiteoaks has been pushing the OKI Street Sixes, a youth football league, part of a Hampshire-based drive to reduce street crime.

West Bromwich Albion

Main sponsor: None. Played pre-season in last year's T-Mobile shirt

Cost per annum: Not applicable

Kit supplier: Umbro

The Premier League's rules ensure an even share of television coverage over the year. Despite this, the club will become the first since the Premier League began in 1992 to start without a sponsor. Supporters can weld one on when a sponsor is found, says a hopeful press release.


Main sponsor: Boylesports

Cost per annum: £2.5m

Kit supplier: Umbro

Boylesports, one of Ireland's biggest bookies, is the latest Irish link to Wearside. Manager Roy Keane and chairman Niall Quinn front a club owned by the Drumaville Consortium, a collection of Dublin businessmen, "It's the biggest thing since Jack Charlton and Italia 90," says investor Charlie Chawke. Aer Lingus and Ryanair agree, reporting increased traffic from Dublin and Cork to the north-east.


Main sponsor: Garmin SatNav

Cost per annum: £1m

Kit supplier: Errea

Lazy players will be found out this year as Garmin supply Boro coaches with GPS-enabled Forerunners that measure the squad's heart rate, speed and the distance covered during training. Fans can view the data online during the season. The team bus driver will also be under pressure to get the team to away games on time as the sponsor has equipped the coach with the company's core SatNav product.


Main sponsor: LG (Electronics)

Cost per annum: £3m

Kit supplier: Nike

No one can say Mohamed Al Fayed lacks imagination when it comes to negotiating with sponsors. Bundled in to LG's deal is floor space at Mr Al Fayed-owned Harrods and the roof of Craven Cottage, which is positioned under the Heathrow flight path. The sponsor says that nothing should be read into the fact that the entire senior marketing team left the company shortly after the deal was signed.

Stoke City

Main sponsor: Britannia (Building Society)

Cost per annum: £1m

Kit supplier: Le Coq Sportif

The credit crunch era is no bad time to promote the benefits of saving, so Britannia support their involvement by some neat activation, donating substantial sums to the club via its Save & Support initiative. Stoke are tipped for relegation, but the Staffordshire-based building society has been sponsoring the club for 11 years and holds the naming rights to the stadium.

Bolton Wanderers

Main sponsor: Reebok (Sportswear manufacturer)

Cost per annum: £1.2m

Kit supplier: Reebok

The Reebok Stadium was one of the first British naming rights agreements, signed in 1997 and recently renewed until 2016, and a blueprint for Arsenal's deal with Emirates. Sponsor and club work closer than most – Reebok's UK head office is in the north stand of the ground.