ArabAd - - COVER STORY -

Brands from the Mid­dle East now ac­count for over 30% of the value of shirt spon­sor­ships of the world’s top 50 foot­ball clubs by brand value, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est re­port by Brand Fi­nance, the world’s lead­ing in­de­pen­dent brand val­u­a­tion and strat­egy con­sul­tancy. Air­lines lead the Mid­dle Eastern spon­sor­ship pack, with Emi­rates sup­port­ing more clubs than any other spon­sor in the Brand Fi­nance Foot­ball 50 league ta­ble, in­clud­ing the foot­ball club with the sec­ond-most valu­able brand, Real Madrid, as well as 8th-ranked Arse­nal, 9th-ranked Paris Saint-germain, and 18th-ranked AC Mi­lan. Thanks to their spon­sor­ship con­tracts, Emi­rates en­joy the high­est level of aware­ness (32%) of all the lead­ing spon­sors, ac­cord­ing to Brand Fi­nance’s orig­i­nal mar­ket re­search con­ducted among fans in China, In­dia, and the USA. Eti­had Air­ways spon­sors 6th-ranked Manchester City, and Qatar Air­ways spon­sors 26th-ranked AS Roma. Cu­ri­ously, air­lines from out­side the Mid­dle East do not spon­sor any of the foot­ball clubs ranked in the Brand Fi­nance Foot­ball 50 league ta­ble. Eti­had-spon­sored Manchester City had a par­tic­u­larly pos­i­tive year of brand value growth, up 30% to USD 1,331 mil­lion. This was driven by both lo­cal and na­tional fac­tors, with sta­dium im­prove­ments in­creas­ing ca­pac­ity for lo­cal at­ten­dance at games, while in­creased in­come from broad­cast­ing and prize money was driven by their Premier League win last year. In ad­di­tion, it is un­der­stood that Manchester City is preparing to rene­go­ti­ate a num­ber of key spon­sor­ship deals, which will see the club ben­e­fit from their con­tin­ued Premier League dom­i­nance and their im­proved brand strength rating. Bryn An­der­son, Di­rec­tor at Brand Fi­nance, com­mented:“the Mid­dle Eastern air­lines are lead­ing the industry in their sup­port of iconic global foot­ball clubs. Not only is this earn­ing sig­nif­i­cant at­ten­tion within the Euro­pean cities where the clubs are based, but the global na­ture of their fan base is earn­ing at­ten­tion for the air­lines from across the world. These spon­sor­ships work be­cause foot­ball is a truly global sport, al­low­ing air­lines with global as­pi­ra­tions to reach cus­tomers and po­ten­tial cus­tomers around the world.”

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