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United’s sponsorship revenue plateaus, on-pitch results hit sales

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: Paul Pogba, Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on August 24, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Premier League Manchester United’s sponsorship revenue plateaued in the year ended 30 June 2019, as the club continued to struggle with its on-pitch performance.

Sponsorship income, posted in yesterday’s full-year financial results, was £173m, just under the £173.2m reported in the 2017-18 fiscal year (see table below: ‘Sponsorship revenue against league position, 2013 to 2019’).

The club said the sponsorship results reflected lower revenue from a shorter-than-usual summer tour schedule, offset by increased underlying sponsorship revenue.

United highlighted 10 new or renewed global deals in the fiscal year. SportBusiness Sponsorship understands that global deals are now the club’s priority, even at lower rates, because of the costs incurred in sourcing and servicing regional partners.

This is a departure from the club’s former policy and slicing and dicing rights on a global, regional or sector basis.

Read this: Maui Jim, Yabo Sports reflect poles in United’s global partner strategy

It is understood that the club’s global image as ‘Champions’ and the sophistication of United’s sales process had kept global deal values high in the year’s immediately after United’s last Premier League championship in 2012-13.

With less on-pitch success and weaker demand, there is more flexibility on price and inventory.

In total, United posted record fiscal 2019 revenues of £627.1m, up 6.3 per cent on the previous year, driven largely by an 18.1-per-cent increase in broadcast revenue.

Read this: United gets set for revenue slump after posting record figures

The club also claimed to have increased its global fanbase to 1.1 billion people, as measured by Kantar.