Premier League Shirt Sponsors for 2022/23: Gambling, Banking, Planes & Cars

Arsenal is sponsored by Emirates
Arsenal is sponsored by Emirates (Cosmin Iftode / Bigstockphoto.com)

Shirt sponsors are serious business for Premier League clubs these days. Given how many people, from all over the world, tune into watch the English top flight every week, the exposure a shirt sponsor receives is enormous. The EPL is broadcast to almost 200 countries, virtually all those officially recognised by the United Nations. Companies therefore pay huge sums for the privilege of being a club’s primary sponsor, as there are few other ways of increasing brand awareness to such an extent.

Shirt sponsorship deals used to provide clubs with a little bit of extra cash but rarely did they have a significant financial impact. Back in 2000, for example, Man Utd signed a then record-breaking £7.5m-a-year deal with mobile phone giants Vodafone. Skip forward to 2021 and the Red Devils penned a deal with TeamViewer worth £47m a year. They even managed to negotiate a separate deal a year later, just covering their training gear, worth a massive £24m a year.

Although not all Premier League clubs can attract such lucrative shirt sponsor deals, it still goes to show how much more expensive these arrangements are for companies. Today, £7.5m a season would probably only get you a newly promoted side or one with a fair risk of getting relegated. Nevertheless, companies still find the increased costs to be justified as Premier League clubs regularly find takers despite asking for more and more money.

Shirt Sponsors for 2022/23

Here is a look at all Premier League sponsors, broken down by various industries. As in 2021/22, gambling companies dominate the field but it is important to remember they have not always done this. If you were to head back 15 years to the 2008/09 season there were only four gambling sponsors, followed by three the next year. Their presence is not new in the sport but it is only in more recent years they have represented such a large proportion of main shirt sponsors.

Gambling Sponsors – 8

  • Newcastle Sportsbet.ioAFC Bournemouth – Dafabet
  • Brentford – HollywoodBets
  • Everton – Stake.com
  • Fulham – W88
  • Leeds United – SBOTOP
  • Newcastle United – Fun88
  • Southampton – Sportsbet.io
  • West Ham United – Betway

The 2022/23 Premier League season will see eight shirts featuring a prominent logo of a gambling company. The reason the number is so high, as you might have guessed, is that betting companies are often able to offer clubs the most money. Some clubs have signed such deals despite clear opposition from their own fans though. In the case of Fulham, their Supporters’ Trust ran a poll in 2021 which found that 46% of their own fans would be ‘uncomfortable’ with a shirt featuring a betting sponsor on the chest. A total of 22% also said they would refuse to buy such a shirt, so not everyone will be willing to display the W88 logo.

Everton fans are another group that made their opposition to a gambling sponsor heard. A petition, calling on the club to cancel its deal, worth at least £10m-a-season, was signed by over 30,000 supporters. It does seem in Everton’s case the deal was signed reluctantly as in early 2020, Everton CEO, Denise Barrett-Baxendale, said: “In an ideal world, moving forward, we would look to have a different type of sponsor on the front of our shirts.” Given the financial situation the club found themselves in two years later though, they could not afford to be too picky.

Another interesting point to note is how few of the betting sponsors are well-established within the UK market. Betway are the only one you could consider to be a big UK bookie. Many of the other names are more well known in the likes of Asia and are using their sponsorship deal to try and slide their way into the highly competitive and lucrative UK market. However, it might be argued that given how congested the UK market is, any of them will do very well to make an impression here.

Finally, out of the eight gambling sponsors listed above, Fulham, Everton and Bournemouth are the ones new to the 2022/23 Premier League season. This still means there is a decrease on the previous year though because two relegated teams from 2021/22 (Burnley and Watford) had them, in addition to Wolves and Crystal Palace who have since changed.

Banking/Finance – 4

  • Leicster FBSBrighton – American Express
  • Leicester – FBS
  • Liverpool – Standard Chartered
  • Wolves – AstroPay

Quite the mix of sponsors here but all find themselves related to finance, or more specifically banking. In most cases, sponsorship deals initially last for between one to three years with the possibility of an extension if both parties are happy. Leicester’s record deal with FBS for instance was penned in 2021 and expires in 2024. As for Wolves, they are just testing out the waters with their brand-new sponsor, AstroPay, as the current arrangement only covers the 2022/23 campaign.

It could well be that Wolves fans see another logo emblazoned on their shirts for next year but this will not be the case for the Brighton faithful. The partnership with American Express is not due to run out until 2031, having initially been signed in 2019. The huge credit card company paid £100m for this privilege but this could prove to be a very decent bit of business should Brighton stave off relegation during this period and stay in the top flight for the whole duration of the agreement.

As for changes specific to 2022/23, Standard Chartered renewed their deal with Liverpool, this time a five-year contract worth in excess of £50m a year. It is significantly more than the £40m-a-year deal signed in 2018 and much more than the very first collaboration in 2010, which was worth “just” £20m-a-year.

Airlines – 2

  • Arsenal EmiratesArsenal – Emirates
  • Man City – Etihad Airways

Not too much report here as both these airlines have been the main sponsor for their respective teams for some time now. Arsenal have been playing with ‘Emirates’ as their sponsor since 2006. The only difference between then and now is that the logo comes with the ‘Fly better’ slogan underneath, which first appeared last season.

City’s partnership with Etihad Airways is not quite as long-standing but it does date back to 2009. Although the fee is allegedly not entirely funded by the airline themselves, it is worth a whopping £67.5m-a-year, with the money also including the naming rights for the stadium. There are often blurred lines with such deals where it is unclear what part of the fee is specifically for the shirt and what relates naming rights, with City and Brighton also having combined sponsorship arrangements.

Automotive – 2

  • Aston Villa CazooAston Villa – Cazoo
  • Crystal Palace – Cinch

The second-hand car market enjoyed a boom period prior to and during 2020, in part due to a shortage of computer chips and some raw materials that limited new car production. This saw the creation and rise of companies such as Cazoo and Cinch that allow customers to shop for second-hand cars online. Cazoo were doing so well in 2020 that they penned deals with both Everton and Aston Villa, creating what soon become dubbed among football fans as ‘the Cazoo derby’.

There will be no such derby in 2022/23 though as neither party wished to take up the extension signed on their original deal. The Merseysiders thought they could get more money elsewhere (their Stake.com deal is slightly more valuable) while Cazoo were looking to cut costs as they lost £243m in the first half of 2022. Rival company, Cinch, appearing to be faring better as they were happy to sign a multi-year deal with Crystal Palace starting this season. In doing so the Premier League lost one of its gambling sponsor as W88 had previously been the main sponsor for the south London club.

Telecommunications – 1

  • Chelsea ThreeChelsea – Three

Wishing to distance themselves as much as possible from former Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, Three temporarily suspended their sponsorship deal with Chelsea in March 2022. The company said they were considering their relationship with the club following a large crackdown on Russian oligarchs, targeted in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

By May, reports indicated that Chelsea were seeking to identify a new shirt sponsor although no reason for this was provided. Despite the speculation though, Chelsea confirmed in June that Three would be lifting their temporary suspension and resuming all sponsorship activities. This included seeing out the final season of their £40m-a-year deal with the Blues, something which keeps the ‘3’ logo printed prominently on Chelsea shirts.

IT – 1

  • Man United Team ViewerMan Utd – TeamViewer

In 2021, Man Utd agreed to team up with TeamViewer over a five-year period in an arrangement worth £235m. This was a £17m-a-year less than their previous Chevrolet deal but it was an understandable reduction given the team’s continued on-field struggles and absence from the UEFA Champions League. United’s sponsors have traditionally signed contract extensions with the club (the Red Devils have only had six main shirt sponsors since 1982) but TeamViewer seem incredibly unlikely to do this.

Just before the 2022/23 season kicked off, a struggling TeamViewer stated they “do not intend to extend the sponsorship agreement” the official reason being because the German company “reassess(ed) its long-term marketing strategy in light of the current macro environment.” The stock price of TeamViewer did improve slightly following this news but the it was still more than 70% down since agreeing the deal with the Red Devils just a year earlier.

Insurance – 1

  • Tottenham AIATottenham – AIA

Nike have released what many fans believe to be a hideous looking Tottenham away shirt for the 2022/23 season. Given the success of the previous year’s eye-catching and popular design, the fan base were expecting something more. Although massively different in appearance, one thing that has stayed the same is the shirt-sponsor.

As has been the case since 2019, Hong-Kong-based multinational insurance company AIA is present on all matchday shirts and is set to be until 2027 at the earliest. We could have included this within the clubs sponsored by financial institutions but there is a considerable enough difference between AIA and the others for them to have a category all to themselves!

No Sponsor – 1

  • Nottingham Forest no sponsorNottingham Forest

In what is an incredibly rare sight for the Premier League, Nottingham Forest played their opening league game of the season against Newcastle without any sponsor. With a shirt featuring just the club crest and the logo of the supplier (Macron), it came with a strong retro feel, evoking a time before football was so desperate for lucrative sponsorship deals. This was not some sort of anti-capitalist protest from Forest though, nor was it because they simply wanted a minimalist kit that stands out from the rest.

Instead, having a sponsor-less shirt was a result of the club being unable to find a company willing to meet their financial demands. Interest has been there but just not interest that is willing to cough up enough cash. BOXT, who sponsored Forest as they secured their return to the Premier League, offered millions of pounds to extend their partnership but this was declined.

A disappointed BOXT then turned to Everton to become their new sleeve sponsor, something the Toffees did not have the previous year. No details of BOXT’s rejected offer were released but it is rumoured that Forest are holding out for £10m a year, more than several established Premier League clubs receive.

The club will be able to sign a deal at any point during the reason, with an immediate start, but for every game they play without a sponsor, this is less money for them. On the plus side, the fans can enjoy the retro feel of the current shirt whilst it lasts!

Sleeve Sponsor

Our focus here has been on the main shirt sponsor, the one that feature prominently on the front and centre of the shirt. It is worth mentioning though that sleeve sponsors have quickly become a standard part of a modern Premier League shirt, providing clubs with even more commercial revenue. At the start of the 2022/23 campaign, only Forest and Villa had not secured a sponsor for their sleeve, with all other 18 clubs doing so either through new or existing deals.

Although never as lucrative as the main sponsor, nor close to it, they do provide clubs with some additional funds. In the case of Chelsea, who agreed a deal with WhaleFin, this was worth £20m-a-season. Smaller Premier League clubs can of course not attract such large sums but they should still expect something in excess of £1m.

Overall Shirt Sponsor Value

Shirt sponsor
sportsphotographer.eu / Bigstockphoto.com

The combined money Premier League teams secured from shirt sponsorship deals covering the 2022/23 season totalled in excess of £460m. This consists of £360m from the main sponsor and a little over £100m from sleeve deals. Man Utd topped this list thanks to their lucrative sleeve agreement with DXC, matching the £20m-a-year Chelsea receive from theirs, both far more than many mid-sized clubs get for their primary sponsor.