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Cygames returns to brand Juventus back-of-shirt asset

(Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Japanese video game developer Cygames has restarted its back-of-shirt sponsorship with Serie A club Juventus after a one-year hiatus last season.

Cygames struck a three-year deal for the shirt rights, from 2017-18 to 2019-20, in July 2017, but was ousted last season when rival brand Konami became Juventus’s official video game partner and licensing partner for the Pro Evolution Soccer game.

The club’s back-of-shirt rights went unsold for most of the 2019-20 season, but the Cygames logo returned this week to emblazon the shirt  for the away match against AC Milan.

Cygames is understood to have paid between €5m ($5.6m) and €6m per season during its earlier deal – the first time Juventus had sold the back-of-shirt rights – and now sits alongside Konami on the Juventus roster.

After the on-pitch success linked to the previous two-year association, Giorgio Ricci, chief revenue officer of Juventus said the two organisations were back on the path towards new goals.

“The fact that the partnership resumes, after difficult months like the last, is a further sign of how strong the synergy between the two brands is, which share the momentum, energy, a strong desire to start again, and who look towards the future with positivity,” he said.

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Cygames is part of the CyberAgent group, which is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq stock market in New York.

Its Shadowverse title, which launched in Italy in July 2017, is one of the most popular mobile games in Japan.

The Italian Serie A champions for the last eight seasons have targeted the Asian market and Asian brands to close the financial gap with its main rivals among Europe’s elite football clubs.

Ricci said last year that the Asia-Pacific fanbase increased by 18 per cent in 2018-19 and the club was growing faster in the region than in the other parts of the world.

A digital campaign timed to coincide with the club’s tour of Asia last July, garnered 50 million video views and 790,000 engagements while the club was in the region.

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