La valeur d’un partenariat maillot aux USA

Rapports financiers bancaux, manque de capital et surtout surveillance accrue de Wall Street, tel est le quotidien des administrateurs des franchises américaines et rois du sport business, qui sont maintenant dans l’obligation de trouver de nouveaux revenus.

Peu voire pas utilisé outre-Atlantique (sauf la MLS avec 11 des 16 équipes), le partenariat maillot a été rapidement identifié par les économistes du sport et autres financiers nord-américains comme l’une des possibilités pour faire face ou du moins retarder cette mini-crise.

Une étude d’Horizon Media, agence de communication américaine, a estimé que les revenus issus des partenariats maillots pourraient s’élever à pas moins de 370 millions de dollars par an pour les différentes ligues nord-américaines (NFL, MLB, NBA et NHL), chiffre qui a du entraîner l’organisation de réunions cette semaine entre les équipes commerciales, marketing et communication des équipes potentiellement concernées.

L’étude a analysé le « potentiel média » des 20 équipes des championnats de football américain, de baseball, de basket-ball et de hockey sur glace, en intégrant plusieurs facteurs comme la taille maximum du logo sur le maillot, le coût d’achat d’un espace publicitaire de 30 sec, la fréquence et la durée moyenne d’apparition d’une marque durant un match. Avant de dévoiler les chiffres, une donnée importante : seule la visibilité maillot a été mesurée par cette étude, les valeurs annoncées ne prennent donc pas en compte le reste de la visibilité pouvant être offerte à un sponsor. Il ne faut donc pas considérer ces chiffres comme le ticket d’entrée pour un sponsor d’une franchise nord-américaine car il faudrait rajouter la panoplie des contreparties tangibles et intangibles.

Donc le Top 3 par ligue…

National Football League :

On assiste à un trio de tête avec les Dallas Cowboys, les New England Patriots et les New York Giants qui ont été évalués à $14,011,721 (10 352 214€). Les trois équipes jouissent d’atouts majeurs : les Dallas Cowboys sont l’une des équipes les plus populaires du pays tous sports confondus, les New England Patriots pour leur régularité et la présence de Tom Brady, l’un des joueurs les plus en vus du championnat et les New York Giants qui bénéficient de l’audience TV de la région de New-York.

Major League Baseball:

Les New York Yankees dominent ce classement avec une valeur estimée à $13 803 011 soit 10 198 013€, largement devant les Boston Red Sox et leurs $11 522 219 (8 512 907€). Les Yankees disposent de leur propre chaîne, YES Network, ce qui dope le potentiel du club en terme d’audience et drive vers le haut la valeur publicitaire d’un logo. Le podium est complété par l’autre franchise new-yorkaise, les Mets de New York ($8 954 315 ou 6 615 674€).

National Basketball Association:

Grosse surprise car je pensais que les valeurs allaient être beaucoup plus hautes. Selon Horizon Media, un logo sur le maillot des Los Angeles Lakers se vendrait à $4 059 744 soit 2 999 451€… Les 2ème et 3ème du classement sont les New York Knicks ($2 775 182 ou 2 050 374€) et les Boston Celtics ($2 718 950 soit 2 008 829€).

National Hockey League :

Pour conclure donc, le hockey sur glace et la NHL, avec les Chicago Blackhawks, derniers vainqueurs de la Stanley Cup, en tête du classement avec $1 372 007 (1 013 673€), suivi des New York Rangers ($708 267 ou 523 285€) et des Pittsburgh Penguins ($676 938 ou 500 138€).

Comme moi, vous vous demandez les raisons de ces disparités entre ligues qui sont quand même importantes (x10 entre la NFL et la NHL!!). Difficile à expliquer, personnellement je mettrai ma pièce sur l’audience potentielle des différentes franchises qui doit sans doute varier sensiblement d’un sport à un autre, mais j’aurai du mal à vous apporter des arguments tangibles.

Néanmoins, il est intéressant de remettre ces chiffres en perspective avec les tickets d’entrée du sponsoring sportif en France pour 2011, publiés sur ce blog la semaine dernière.

Gardant en tête que les chiffres annoncés ci-dessus ne concernent que la visibilité maillot, les top 3 franchises de la NFL et de la MLB dépassent le sponsoring maillot d’un club phare de L1, estimé à 6M€ selon KantarSport (les Boston Red Sox ayant quasiment le même montant qu’un sponsor titre d’une équipe cycliste UCI Pro).

Pour la NBA, un futur partenaire maillot des Lakers paierait quasiment autant qu’un partenaire majeur de la Coupe de France de football ou qu’un Partenaire Officiel de l’équipe de France de rugby, et encore plus surprenant un logo sur le maillot de Pittsburgh Penguins (sans doute LA meilleure équipe de la NHL actuellement) équivaut à l’argent dépensé par une marque sponsor d’un club de  Ligue 2, d’un Fournisseur du Tour de France ou encore un partenaire du CNOSF.

Des comparaisons brutes intéressantes, mais je précise que ceci reste du brut et les contreparties attenantes à un tel partenariat entre une marque et une franchise nord-américaine devraient largement faire pencher la balance et faire gonfler la valeur finale du partenariat.

Affaire à suivre donc, mais reste à croire que les choses devraient aller vite pour les franchises nord-américaines, surtout dès qu’elles auront réglé la question du ROI… Ce qui devrait chambouler les structures des portefeuilles sponsoring de quelques marques (avec peut-être une phase de rationalisation des investissements), notamment des annonceurs venant des pays émergents cherchant à pénetrer le marché (cf. article sur les équipementiers chinois) ou encore les acteurs historiques du sport américains…

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