AgiproNews’ Italian View: Serie A sponsorship reality contradicts Luigi’s tough narrative

The new Serie A season kicked off on 18 August, with Italian football clubs securing a reported €125 million in lead shirt sponsorship revenues.

According to data collected by Italian sports business news source SportEconomy’s ‘football shirt sponsor index’, Serie A football clubs continue to grow their lead partnerships, which have grown year-on-year since 2015, when combined Serie A sponsorships dropped to €85 million.

As anticipated Turin giants Juventus, the seven-time consecutive champions of Serie A dominated the SportEconomy index, securing a €27 million in sponsorship earnings for season 2018/19, with US automotive firm Jeep and Japanese firm Cygames acting as principal ‘Old Lady’ sponsors.  

Nevertheless, Modena-based Sassuolo Calcio, one of Serie A smallest outfits has raised eyebrows ranking as the second-placed team on the jersey index through its €18 million sponsorship with owner Mapei, an Italian chemical productions firm.

Of particular note to industry stakeholders, will be the low presence of betting/gambling related shirt sponsorships with Serie A clubs.

Despite the coalition government sanctioning its ‘Dignity Decree’, which will move to prohibit all betting related coverage across Italian football, only three Serie A clubs have taken-up shirt sponsorships’ with gambling firms; Torino-Sportpesa, Chievo maintaining its legacy sponsorship with Eurobet and SS Lazio securing a fixed-term partnership with Marathonbet.

The low visibility of active betting shirt sponsors within Serie A bucks the trend that has been witnessed in other high-profile European football leagues, such as the Premier League and La Liga, which maintain a significantly higher saturation of bookmaker shirt sponsorships than Italian Calcio.

Preparing for the final months of legal betting advertising, Italian news sources report that bookmakers will likely ramp up advertising through digital, TV and on-field LED advertising verticals.

This scenario will move counter to Luigi di Maio personal mandate seeking to protect Italian sports audiences from being inundated with betting related messages … leaving business commentators to wonder whether Luigi’s Decree was ever really thought out’?