MADRID - The English Premier League has leapfrogged Germany's Bundesliga as the biggest earner from shirt sponsorship, according to a study by consulting firm Sport+Markt published on Thursday.
Despite tough times for the British economy, endorsement deals for the 20 Premier League clubs totalled 128 million euros in 2010/11, compared with 118.5 million for the 18 sides in Germany's top league, the study showed.
English clubs, who also earn the most from television deals, increased their revenue from 83.5 million euros the previous year while income for their German counterparts was up from 108.6 million.
Italy's Serie A was third in the latest ranking on 65.9 million euros, followed by France's Ligue 1 on 58.8 million and Spain's La Liga with 57.5 million. Netherlands was sixth on 42 million.
Gareth Moore, Sport+Markt's U.K. director, said the study showed financial firms appeared to have shaken off the economic crisis, while betting companies had also made a significant contribution to shirt sponsorship revenue across the continent.
"The Premier League is the standard bearer for jersey sponsorship in Europe and represents the major platform for international companies wishing to invest in football," Moore said.
"Betting and gambling have helped to deliver significant revenues for football clubs across Europe in what are challenging economic times and the importance of the sector cannot be overlooked," he added.
"As a consequence of liberalisation for betting companies on the French market and, potentially in the future, in Germany, next year's sponsorship engagements from the sector may increase even further."
Serie A was the only league of the top five to record a decline from the previous year, when Italy's top clubs earned 74 million euros, partly because Lazio and Fiorentina are currently without shirt sponsors, the study showed.
Most Spanish clubs were still failing to attract lucrative sponsors, although if La Liga champions Barcelona, the club with the largest European fan base, chose to have a shirt endorsement the league could rise to third position from fourth.
Barca pay the United Nations Children's Fund, Unicef, 1.5 million euros a year to display the organisation's logo.
New deals for Premier League clubs Manchester United and Liverpool, with insurance brokerage AON and bank Standard Chartered respectively, were the two most valuable contracts at 23.6 million euros each, followed by Real Madrid's 23-million-euro deal with Internet bookmaker bwin.comments