Figures from a Sporting Intelligence report show that for the 2018-2019 season, nine teams have an Asian or Middle Eastern brand as their main shirt sponsor. In the 2003-2004 season only Kejian, a Chinese telecoms company was the only Asian representative when they sponsored Everton.
Now, it is interesting that over half of the Premier League club's sponsorship total comes from Asia and the Middle East, with UAE airline heavyweights Etihad (Man City, US $59 million) and Emirates (Arsenal, US $52.4 million) topping the sponsorship tables.
Clubs are increasingly looking East to secure sponsorship opportunities and the trend in the Premier League is consistent with the trends across Europe as the major clubs try to create a global brand and presence in emerging markets.
Linking with local partners in specific regions is also becoming increasingly popular to commercially savvy clubs and we have touched on this previously in our posts and blogs. As always, well drafted agreements between parties are crucial to ensure good relations and commercial success for both brands in the partnership.
only Southampton (Virgin Media), Watford (FxPro) and Liverpool (Standard Chartered) are sponsored by UK-based companies.