15 clubs will have sponsors on the front of their shirts during the 2016/17 Serie A season, while 5 clubs will have an empty space instead – 1 less than last year. Roma, Lazio and Palermo won’t have a sponsor either on the front or the back; Genoa and Sampdoria, like last season, won’t have a main sponsor but will at least bring in some revenue thanks to Genoa’s deal with LeasePlan and Sampdoria’s with XLV. As a recent study by Sporting Intelligence showed, no Premier League club has an empty shirt: Middlesbrough are the team with the smallest revenue, bringing in £1m a season.
To compare the business that teams have done on their shirt deals, English clubs bring in a total of €220m a year. In Italy, the figures are considerably worse: last season only the Dutch Eredivisie performed worse than Serie A – just €83m was brought in last year, compared to €103m in Ligue 1 and €105m in La Liga, to name the two leagues closest in stature to Serie A.
This year things seem to have improved, given that one more club has been able to find a company’s logo to place on billboards and on the front of their shirts. Last year, Fiorentina were also one of the teams without a main sponsor but this year they have agreed a deal with Folletto.
While on the one hand, therefore, the number of teams that can count on a commercial shirt sponsor has increased, on the other hand the decrease in Sassuolo’s sponsorship deal with Mapei could affect the overall total: in 2014 it was €22m but in 2015 it dropped to a little over €18m. This was in order to comply with UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations.
Even after taking Palermo into account, it’s clear that Serie A’s total income from shirt sponsorship is heavily affected by the difficulty of the two Roman clubs who, despite having a far from indifferent reputation, have been unable to sell their most attractive advertising space to half the world’s marketing agencies for a number of seasons. And in turn, this has forced both teams to give up revenue that would otherwise have given both clubs’ finances some necessary aid.
This article is a translation – the original was written by Calcio & Finanza editorial staff.