The DataPOWA view on the most important talking points in the worlds of sport sponsorship and digital.

REAL TAKE TOP SPOT IN MONEY LEAGUE

Manchester United have been replaced by Real Madrid at the top of Deloitte’s Football Money League.

Though both teams have experienced a tough 2018/19 season and Real have lost Cristiano Ronaldo, the Spanish club’s Champions League victory last May gave them the push they needed to surpass United.

Barcelona have also overtaken United, who are down to third, while Bayern Munich and United’s neighbours Manchester City complete the top five.

Elsewhere, England’s big six clubs have made it into the top ten for the first time with Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham being placed in 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th respectively.

Dan Jones, who authored the report, noted: “European football remains a bull market, with annual revenue growth of almost 450 million euros (£390million) in this year’s Football Money League.

“At the top, we have seen Real Madrid shatter records, becoming the first club to break the three-quarters of a billion euro mark and claim a record twelfth Money League title in the process.

“Most of our top 10 are through to the last 16 of the Champions League and forecasting further revenue growth, meaning their relative performances in UEFA’s flagship competition this season could have a noticeable impact on our rankings next year.”

For more on this story, please visit Deloitte

F1 SPONSORSHIP STALLS ON THE GRID

Formula 1 is struggling to gain traction among sponsors, Forbes reports.

Investment firm Liberty Media bought the sport in January 2017, but has enjoyed little success so far in drumming up the sponsors it initially predicted.

Overall revenues hit $1.8 billion in that year, but sponsorship is the smallest of its four key money-drivers and the level of team sponsorship revenue has fallen by more than 25% across the last five years.

Chase Carey of Liberty Media admitted in November that the company’s initial expectations had been a little high, stating: “the perception was just there are sponsors waiting…They were lined up out there and as soon as we had somebody to go call on them, they were just going to sign up. The world’s not that simple.”

Forbes notes that the solution could come in young audiences, which the sport has traditionally steered away from in favour of older fans. Social media, esports series and streamed races have been brought in to help this, but so far the strategy hasn’t reaped any dividends.

“F1 appears to be chasing a youth audience, which isn’t responding, whilst its older fan-base is still interested but is not the target,” Forbes’ Christian Sylt writes. “For sponsors it doesn’t seem to be a winning formula.”

For more on this story, please visit Forbes

HEINEKEN SETS SIGHTS ON SOCCER

Heineken could be making a play for domination of the 2026 FIFA World Cup by attempting to trademark the slogan ‘Official Beer of Soccer’.

That year’s tournament will take place in the United States and Mexico, and having already claimed the title of the Official Beer of the MLS, the brand may be hoping to further its stake in the Americas.

A trademark application for the term ‘Official Beer of Soccer’ was filed on January 4th and subsequently spotted by Twitter users on the 9th January.

Though Heineken itself has refused to comment on the situation, the brand has seen significant returns through its partnership with the MLS and would almost certainly view this slogan as a lucrative one.

Senior vice-president of marketing, Felix Palau, has previously said: “Since working with MLS, we’ve seen a huge spike in our pull with soccer fans and supporters, and we hope to continue this trend for the short and long term.”

For more on this story, please visit The Drum

KIA POWERS UP ESPORTS SPONSORSHIP

Kia is aiming to become a major part of the esports community by positioning itself as an authentic partner to gaming enthusiasts.

The car manufacturer has recently become the main sponsor the League of Legends European Championship and is looking to use this deal as a test ground to understand esports’ long-term viability.

Video content will be the first port of call and will revolve around the fortunes of the team Fnatic as they try to defend their League of Legends title. The hope is that this will build a firm bond between the brand and supporters.

“Only true gamers and esports fans will be able to fully appreciate the video,” said Michael Choo, Kia’s head of brand promotion. “Our content goal is to be accepted by the esports fan community as a brand who truly cares about and supports the rising eSports culture.”

For more on this story, please visit DigiDay.

GOOD SHOUT

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