Take A Look At Brazilian Football Sponsors
A bright yellow shirt may be the national team's natural color, but there's a lot of money being moved around at club level Brazilian football. Much of this fresh money comes from new revenue steams generated from greater exposure. For example, in-between fans playing their favorite casino games online, many now can watch live streams of their preferred teams in action. Upon closer examination of the figures involved, it becomes pretty amazing how many companies and sponsors are getting involved in sponsorship deals.
Let's Start With The Figures
Back in 2005 Brazilian football sponsors contributed around $200m per season. That's an impressive sum, but tiny compared to European top flight leagues. Roll on another decade and a bit, and it's now thought that the amount sponsorship contributes is in excess of $1bn. It's continuing to grow too, with estimates suggesting perhaps even double that by the turn of the decade.
The majority of this fresh income is due to two key factors.
Firstly, there's a growing international interest in an otherwise unexplored league. It's fresh, competitive and without question the best place to observe fresh developing talent. All the top European - and increasingly Chinese clubs - spent huge amounts scouting for the next Neymar, Silva and Costa.
Secondly it's also highly competitive. Where once upon a time Brazilian football was considered a backwater, fact is that it's much less about individual brilliance nowadays. Truth be told, quality team play is in the predominance and gives international 'arm chair coaches' a much more interesting spectacle. Anyone who enjoys Serie A or La Liga will note that the classic tactics - predominantly build up play and defensive sensibility - are way more apparent nowadays.
Unsurprisingly a huge amount of club and shirt sponsorship comes from worldwide companies. Take a look at some of the best known brands who now lend their names to Brazilian football clubs. Samsung, Michelin, Gillette and many others have had their logos branded on stadiums and shirts. They do this not just to appeal to an up and coming domestic audience, but also in full awareness that Brazilian league football is now much more widely accessible and appreciated.
A Growing Market
The national economy has stabilized after a slight scare at the turn of the decade. Current growth rates are between 3.5-4% per year. This is one of the key reasons why so many sponsors have invested their millions into long term partnerships. Alongside an increase in national wealth and spending power, comes exposure and fresh markets. It's an investment into the future, and both on and off pitch all indications suggest that there's going to be much more broadcasting, wealth and exposure of Brazilian football in coming years.
Is Corruption An Issue?
Yes, but also factor in that relatively recently the Italian Prime Minister, and also owner of AC Milan, was finally exposed due to dodgy accounting. Football is a worldwide business, flushed with money and opportunity - so of course some people are going to try and exploit that.
In regards to Brazil there's been massive concern recently regarding the murkier side of the business - so much so that a few global brands have tried - or paid - to release themselves from their contracts. Where they withdraw, it's seen what may be slightly comedic, specially in the lower leagues. Some clubs - desperate to renew some kind of commercial sponsorship - have even re-branded their shirts to market the grocery discounts available in local supermarkets. For purists it may appear unseemly, but for the business folks involved in keeping a club running, such drastic recourse is apparently necessary.
The Olympic/World Cup Legacy
Despite Brazil having famously flaked in the last World Cup, fact is that state driven infrastructure and refurbished stadiums makes a massive difference to the everyday football fan. Not only does this make matches broadcast around the globe look better, but it encourages more supporters and consequently more sponsors. Compared to some leagues, tickets are astonishingly cheap. Membership/associations have never been more buoyant, and the same can be said for the 'fan culture' that until recently has been mainly a European preserve.
It's going to be interesting to see what happens with Brazilian football sponsorship. At the moment, most starlets will continue to be purchased by leading European clubs, but the more interest in the product - the higher the prices will rise. Don't forget that many talented players are also tied into multi-party contracts. While this complicates many factors, that level of investment is due to potential ahead of initial financial concerns.