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How Do Soccer Clubs Make Money in the Modern Game?

It’s definitely fair to say that the modern game of soccer is worlds apart from its original form back at the start of the last century, as well as being somewhat different to even decades gone by. One major reason for this difference is the increasing monetization of the beautiful game that spans several avenues – here’s how clubs in the modern age make money.

How Important Are Sponsorship Deals?

The first thing that springs to mind when discussing the methods that soccer clubs use to make money is the stark increase in sponsorships and their prevalence. Decades ago, they would be limited to a few boards around the ground, and the boards would be limited to a select few firms – ‘Rainham Steel’ in the UK was seen around several stadiums in past decades.

However, as directors started to look upon clubs as a financial asset as opposed to just a sporting organization, the opportunity for higher quantities and values for sponsorship deals arose. The turning point for this was the 1989 First Division season finale between Liverpool and Arsenal – it was a game that drew in 12 million viewers, figures that were previously unheard of. From that moment on, soccer became a marketable asset, and the following years would see major companies such as Opel and Emirates Airlines grace the shirts of clubs in the top divisions. Fast forward to the modern day and sponsors are second nature, being found on shirt sleeves and at the bottom of the clubs’ website.

They can come in all shapes and sizes, be it the ones that first come to mind such as the kit manufacturers or sports betting providers. These two examples are typical offerings as they’re usually the biggest partners present. When it comes to betting, for instance, the vast array of providers on offer has been helped along in the last few years by the lucrative opportunities that sponsorships present, as well as other influences such as the rise of the Internet. Sites such as have only been able to enter business thanks to the Internet giving rise to ample providers for them to compare one another with. It’s a sign of the times that comparison sites are becoming popular across the world, especially in such a populated nation as India that has seen an ever-increasing user base.

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What Has the Internet Allowed Clubs to Get Involved With?

Furthermore, the rise of the Internet and related tech industries has presented a whole new sector for soccer clubs to get involved in, especially with the increased importance of video games in modern society. Franchises such as FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer require licenses to use likenesses in their games and this comes at a cost to the developers. In order to gain access to a specific license, EA would have to pay a fee to the league and to the club in order to make FIFA an ‘official product’. This can be important to clubs worldwide as millions of people play these games and to have an official likeness in such a popular franchise can raise serious revenue.

The modern age has presented multiple avenues for soccer clubs to go down when it comes to making money. Sponsorship has remained a main source of income, as well as traditional means of merchandise and ticket sales. Recent years have seen them break the traditional mold and venture into other avenues such as those opened up by the rise of the Internet, especially online firms to help clubs extend their reach even further.

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