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National League sets ambitious targets

The National Leage has set itself some ambitous targets in a new four year strategy entitled 'Growing our Game' covering the period 2016 to 2020.

It wants to increase annual attendances from 1.5m to 1.7m.  It wants live broadcast matches to go up from 25 to 40 per seaon and to increase commercial revenues by 50 per cent.   The target for social media following is an increase from 750,000 to 1 million.

Barcelona are number one for sponsorship deals

Barcelona remain the world's number one club for sponsorship deals.   The club signed a new 10-year kit deal with Nike last month which is expected to bring in €150m-€155m each year, compared with the current €60m.   When it starts in 2018, it will be football's most lucrative kit deal ever, far outstripping Manchester United's £75m a year deal with Adidas.

United remain top brand

Manchester United remain the top brand in world football with an estimated value of over $1 billion for the second successive year.   Leicester City saw the biggest increase of 132 per cent, going from 42nd to 16th place with a value of £166m.

Arsenal saw a 22 per cent increase in brand value, going from seventh to sixth place with a value calculated at £593m.  They overtook Chelsea who saw a two per cent fall in their brand value to £530m.

Cost of kit and sponsorship deals rises rapidly

The cost of football kit and sponsorship deals has been rising rapidly.   Manchester United set the tone when it switched from Nike to Adidas kits in 2015, in a deal worth around £75m a year.  Barcelona did even better.   By extending its Nike kit deal last month, the club more than doubled its annual revenue from kit to €150m a year.

Wolves sponsorship deal criticised

A sponsorship deal concluded by Wolverhampton Wanderers with US-based pay day lender Money Shop has attracted widespread criticism.  It featured on the West Midlands edition of Sunday Politics with one panelist describing Money Shop as akin to 'modern day loan sharks.'

United launch co-branded tractor

The range of geographical and sector specific sponsorships collected by Manchester United is always impressive, but I never expected them to have a co-branded tractor.   However, that is what they have launched with Japanese firm Yanmar with whom they already have a sponsorship relationship.

From Yanmar's point of view it is a way of increasing awareness of the firm outside Japan by associating themselves with a global brand.

Liverpool to build brand in Far East

Liverpool are looking to the expanding Far East market in the hope of attracting a £90m naming rights deal for the new stand at Anfield which is due to open next season.  The club is looking for a ten year deal worth £7m to £9m a season and is understood to have met with three potential buyers.

Liverpool are interested in a strategic partnership, particularly in the retail sector in the Far East, that would allow them to build their brand in that region of the world.

United strike deal with film company

Manchester United have struck the first deal between a football club and a film company.   Major films from 20th Century Fox will be advertised in Premier League matches and in post-match interview backdrops.

Premier League games are broadcast to 730 million homes each week with Manchester United accounting for more than half of the league's global TV audience.   During the 2013-14 season the club's biggest match was watched by 82 million people, and it has estimated that its global audience for the season was 3 billion.

Crystal Palace focus on US

After receiving investment from the United States, Crystal Palace intend to focus on the development of their fanbase and their commercial strategy there.   The club is currently the subject of a 'fly on the wall' documentary being shown on American television.

Sponsors tell United to be less boring

In a rather unusual intervention the chief executive officer of major Manchester United sponsors adidas has said that he wants to see the team playing more attractive football.   The kit sponsor signed a record £750m ten year deal with the club last year.