Sponsoring sportif dans le football

Le sponsoring se porte bien. On l’a vu avec la Coupe du Monde de Rugby en octobre dernier en France mais aussi dans d’autres sports comme la Formule 1 avec l’avènement de l’anglais Lewis Hamilton chez McLaren-Mercedes.

Le sponsoring est une des principales sources de revenus pour les clubs sportifs (généralement derrière les droits TV mais devant la billeterie). Une dernière étude de la part de Sport+Markt détaille le montant total des dépenses en sponsoring maillot pour 2007 dans les six principaux championnats européens de football (Angleterre, Espagne, Italie, France, Allemagne, Pays-Bas). Pour la saison 2007-08, les dépenses ont été évaluées à 405.3 millions d’euros soit une hausse cumulée de 10.6% par rapport à la saison précédente. Et le bonnet d’âne revient à… la France qui est le seul pays où les dépenses ont diminué. L’Angleterre et l’Allemagne arrive largement en tête après de 100
millions d’euros chacun, puis viennent l’Italie (72 millions), la
France et l’Espagne au coude-à-coude (51 millions) et les Pays-Bas
(39.5 millions). Les plus gros contrats se trouvent en majorité en Angleterre et en Allemagne :
#1 Manchester United/AIG : 20.8 millions d’euros par an
#2 Bayern Munich/T-Home : 20 millions d’euros par an
#3 Real Madrid/Bwin : 15 millions d’euros par an
#4 Chelsea/Samsung : 14.5 millions d’euros par an
#5 Milan AC/Bwin et Schalke/Gazprom: 12 millions d’euros par an

Selon le directeur exécutif de Sport+Markt, même si les clubs anglais ont montré la plus belle progression, la disparité reste grande dans les différents championnats. En effet, le plus petit contrat en Allemagne (l’Energie Cottbus) serait le 8ème contrat en valeur en Espagne! L’Allemagne est d’ailleurs le championnat où les dépenses maillot sont les plus élevés avec 5.3 millions d’euros.
En ce qui concerne les équipementiers, Nike se détache et s’affirme comme le numéro 1 avec près de 17 équipes sous contrat. Sachant qu’Umbro détient 15 équipes et que Nike vient de racheter Umbro, cela fait plus de 30 équipes pour le numéro 1 mondial de l’équipement sportif. Adidas suit avec 14 équipes mais 14 équipes plus "stratégiques" selon le directeur exécutif de Sport+Markt. En effet, Adidas est l’équipementier du Real Madrid, Milan AC, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, l’Ajax d’Amsterdam : 5 équipes qui totalisent 29 victoires en Ligue des Champions!

Particularité du classement plus haut, on retrouve Bwin – anciennement appelé Bet and Win –  deux fois (Real Madrid et Milan AC) et cela explique partiellement la baisse des dépenses en France. En effet, les sociétés de paris sportifs ne peuvent être sponsor sur le territoire (Bwin ou 888) ou en tout cas entreprendre toute forme de publicité à moins d’être autorisé par l’Etat français. Comme la Française des Jeux et le PMU sont les deux seules entités légales régissant les jeux d’argent en France, cela pose problème pour des sociétés comme l’australien Bwin qui disposent de grosses sommes à investir et sont prêtes à s’engager comme sponsor principal d’un club. Il y a donc un manque-à-gagner flagrant pour les clubs de L1 mais cette situation pourrait évoluer très prochainement si la France ouvre son marché de jeux d’argent comme demandé par la Cour de Justice de l’Union Européenne.

Autres raisons de la baisse des dépenses en France? On peut citer la descente en Ligue 2 d’un club historique qu’est le FC Nantes entraînant donc une dévalorisation logique de l’emplacement maillot ou tout simplement la médiocrité du championnat français qui n’encourage guère les entreprises à dépenser de grosses sommes pour des équipes qui ont du mal à briller sur la scène européenne…

L’avenir pour le sponsoring? Probablement le naming, à savoir donner à un stade ou une salle le nom d’un annonceur. Cela se fait déjà en Allemagne avec le Bayern Munich et son Allianz Arena, en Angleterre avec l’Emirates Stadium, l’antre d’Arsenal ou aux Pays-Bas avec le Philips Stadion du PSV Eindhoven. Les sommes peuvent être extrêmement intéressantes pour les clubs. Arsenal a signé pour 150 millions d’euros sur 15 ans avec Emirates alors que le Bayern Munich en a eu 50 millions de moins pour la même durée avec Allianz. Le naming, un deal gagnant-gagnant pour le club qui s’assure une source de revenus relativement importante et à l’annonceur une visibilité unique et donc une opportunité unique de communication auprès du public consommateur. En France, le naming n’est pas encore développé comme chez son voisin allemand mais on sait que le nouveau stade de Lyon portera le nom d’un investisseur privé (on parle de LG) et le club du Mans est aussi en bonne voie pour réaliser un stade dès 2009.

Sources : CB News, Sportbusiness, Sportlab

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