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Shirt sponsorship deals break through £200m barrier

Thanks to new deals at Chelsea and Liverpool, Premier League shirt sponsorship deals have broken through the £200m barrier for the first time.   The total value of all deals is now £218.65m.  This is over twice the value of all deals in the German Bundesliga.

United's tour boosts sponsors

Manchester United's 17th successive summer pre-season tour, this year in the United States, has been meticulously planned both in footballing terms, to keep the demands on players within bounds, and also to boost sponsors.   The club is working tirelessly to deliver for their sponsors with the entertaining of every VIP guest a personalised experience.

Super size shirts

Knowing the market for your merchandise in football or any part of the economy involves identifying niche markets that you can satisfy. There are some very large fans around and three clubs are producing their 2015-16 shirts in 6XL size.

The three clubs are Arsenal, Aston Villa and Norwich City, but there is no reason to suppose that they have more very large fans than any other clubs. Some clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur, sell 5XL shirts.

Bulls revival

Leading football journalist David Conn provides an interesting account of the revival of Hereford United as Hereford FC. They have sold a thousand season tickets which is well above the norm for the level of non-league football they are now at.   A recent away game at Malvern Town broke their attendance record with over 2,000 present.

Winners in the air miles league

International pre-season tours are not really about preparing the side for the season ahead. Indeed, all the travelling may fatigue the team and being in different climates may not help that much either.

It's really about marketing, increasing the global profile of the team and creating new opportunities to sell merchandise.

Which team is going to rack up the most air miles this summer? The magazine Four Four Two has provided the answers. Manchester City are way ahead by 39,223 miles on a trip that takes them to Toronto, Houston and Melbourne.

New mascot causes social media storm

Partick Thistle don't normally get a lot of attention, but their terrifying new mascot has caused a social media storm.    If nothing else, it should put a stop to 'Partick Thistle nil' jokes.  However, if mascots are mainly meant to appeal to younger children, this one doesn't fit the bill.   It would probaby give them nightmares.

Ennis-Hill stand no more

Olympic athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill will no longer have a stand named after her at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane ground.   Instead the stand will be named after local estate agents and club sponsors Redbrik.

Ennis-Hill had threatened to have her name removed from the stand if the club had re-signed convicted rapist Ched Evans.   However, the club made no reference to this and said they wanted to continue an association with Ennis-Hill.

Premier League to drop sponsorship

The Premier League is to stop having a named sponsor when its present agreement with Barclays expires in 2016.   Barclays have been sponsors since 2004.

It reflects a desire to have a 'clean brand' like major American sports leagues.   The new television deal means that the league can afford to drop having a sponsor.

New shirt sponsor for Sunderland

Dafabet are to be the new shirt sponsors for Sunderland.   The main markets for the eGaming company are in Asia and the UK.

Until the end of last season, they were the main shirt sponsors for Aston Villa.   They are also shirt sponsors for Blackburn Rovers.

Sponsors could hold key to Fifa crisis

Commercial sponsors could hold the key to the outcome of the crisis at Fifa.   MacDonalds and adidas, two of the headline sponsors for the 2018 World Cup, expressed grave concern at the fresh wave of allegations of systematic corruption within Fifa.

However, the strongest line has taken by Visa.   Any company involved in financial services has a particular interest in not being tainted by allegations of corruption.

In a statement, Visa said: