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Barcelona Trumps Juventus in Champions League of Marketing

There is no contest off the pitch between this year’s Champions League finalists FC Barcelona and Juventus, with the Spanish league title winners far exceeding their opponents’ branding power and commercial revenues.

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In contrast to Barcelona, Juventus are relative paupers despite ranking 10th in the Money League. The Italian club made £233.6m in total revenue last year according to the report, compared to Barcelona’s £405.2m. Juventus also attracts only half the number of spectators each week, earns less than half as much from sponsorship and merchandising and has around one-tenth the social media following of Barcelona.

Juventus’s brand value was £147m in 2014 compared to £370m for Barcelona, according to Brand Finance, which calculates the figure as the amount an organisation would hypothetically have to pay to license its brand if it did not own it. The company’s 2015 valuations will be published in the week following the final in its annual Brand Finance Football 50 report – researchers say a win would provide an £18.3m boost for Barcelona’s brand value, or £8.5m for Juventus.

In terms of kit makers, it is Nike v Nike in the 2015 final, though Juventus will wear Adidas shirts from next season. The club’s deal with Nike came to an acrimonious end, with the club announcing the switch to rival Adidas in 2013 and a subsequent legal dispute. With its new agreement, Juventus has doubled the amount it earns annually from its kit deal, from £8.5m to £17m a year, though this is only the 8th most valuable such agreement in club football.

Barcelona makes more than half as much again from its deal with Nike, at £28m a year, with three years to run on the contract. The higher value is unsurprising given that it gives Nike the opportunity to sell shirts adorned with some of the sport’s biggest names, such as Messi, Neymar and Suárez – Juventus’s squad is far less stellar.

As to the Champions League final itself, UK viewing figures are likely to suffer from the absence of an English team. Last year’s final between two Madrid teams, Real and Atlético, averaged only 6.1 million viewers on Sky and ITV, compared with 8.2 million in 2012, when Chelsea beat Bayern Munich, and 7.9 million in 2011, when Manchester United lost to Barcelona.

However, UEFA claims that the reach of the final was 380 million unique viewers worldwide in 2014, up 20 million from its estimate the previous year. That is still below viewing figures for the World Cup, but with ongoing controversies over corruption within organiser FIFA, the Champions League is fast becoming the more compelling sponsorship proposition for brands.

 

Source: Marketing Week

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