How Soccer Teams Make Money

Soccer at the professional level is a big business. In fact, some of the most high profile club teams in the world bring in a lot of money every year from many different revenue streams. Figuring out how the money is made can sometimes seem complicated, but there are a few lucrative resources that benefit all involved.

How do soccer teams make money? At the highest of levels, soccer teams make money with broadcast rights, ticket sales, sponsorships, licensing, prize money for different competitions, and transfers. While there are other smaller revenue streams, a good majority of the money comes from these sources.

Ticket Sales

This seems like the most obvious way to make money for soccer teams, and it has been a dependable revenue stream for centuries. Selling tickets to matches is a great opportunity for teams to make money, and it is especially true if they are in demand.

Not all professional teams have the luxury of setting high prices and knowing the fans are still going to come, but money is money with ticket sales. In many top international leagues, there will be about 20 whole matches per year give or take. There are plenty of opportunities to make money off of ticket sales, and pricing can fluctuate based on the opponent.

Some expenses go into operating on game day, but most teams try to do what they can to end up earning money with ticket sales every week. Teams that can charge a premium price for luxury seating, suites, and more can earn extra money.

Broadcasting Rights

Getting an opportunity to broadcast matches can be very lucrative for networks. That is why they are willing to pay top dollar for broadcasting rights if the team and the league they play in are in demand.

Some of the money thrown around for broadcasting rights is simply crazy. The Premier League earns a ton of money with their contracts with Sky Sports and BT Sports. They earn over 1,000,000,000 pounds per year collectively as a league, which means that each team gets a payout of over 80,000,000 pounds.

Since soccer is growing and growing into different markets, teams do not just stop at broadcasting rights in their own country. There can be hundreds of broadcasters around the world, all trying to earn money themselves with quality content.

As long as teams are in demand, people are going to continue watching. Companies know that they can make money with this investment by running ads and picking up new subscriptions, so they feel like it is worth it to them to pay these fees.

Sponsorships

Love it or hate it, sponsorship is a big part of soccer. There are logos everywhere in a soccer match, whether it be on the side of the pitch or on team jerseys. It might seem a bit excessive to some people, but teams do get a lot of money from the sponsorship deals.

Sponsorships can go beyond what is seen on a broadcast as well. Maybe a team is picking up a sponsorship deal with a brand looking to purchase naming rights for the stadium. It is not uncommon for a team to have an official water for their club, or a flying partner for that matter.

There is always a fine line of getting another sponsor, and not taking away from the overall product. Teams want to make as much money as possible, but they also understand that too many sponsors can be a bad thing. They do not want to appear to be a walking billboard.

Licensing

Teams can make a pretty good amount of money by selling their own merchandise and licensing out their logos to certain companies. It makes sense from a marketing standpoint, as it helps to grow the brand and pick up new fans along the way. There is a reason why teams will release new kits all the time, as it encourages people to go out and buy more and more stuff.

Teams are very protective of their licensing, which is why it is never a good thing to support fake or unlicensed products. It takes away from the team themselves, and it can be very frustrating for them to deal with. It also does not show support for the club itself, which is one of the reasons why people buy merchandise in the first place.

Winnings

There are a bunch of different competitions throughout a regular soccer season, and prize money goes out to teams when they win. Most people may not realize that along with bragging rights in the trophy, there is prize money involved in winning different competitions as well.

It might not be a huge revenue source compared to everything else, but it does make a difference. Adding a little bit of prestige to the team along the way never hurts either, which is the main reason why so many people are competing.

Transfers

The haves and the have nots in soccer can make it seem like an unfair game at times. One way to even things out a bit is to charge transfer fees when selling off a top player. Yes, a team is losing a player that can win them games, but they can use that money to upgrade the team in other ways later on.

The biggest transfer to date was when Neymar went from Barcelona to Paris St. Germain in 2017. The French club paid €222 million to have him on the roster. There have been 10 transfers in soccer history that have been over €100 million. For a lot of lower-level clubs, that type of money can transform a team.

How Much Money Can Soccer Teams Make?

For the top teams in the world, they carry a lot of expenses, but they also end up making a lot of money as well. The best of the best can make hundreds of millions of euros a year, which allows them to become bigger and better as time goes on.

Teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Paris St. Germain, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, and Juventus are just a few that are huge earners. It obviously pays off to be in the top leagues domestically, which is why teams are constantly battling to make sure that they do not slip up.

It is also a major reason why some of the most competitive contests each year happen when teams are battling to get that to the top division. Simply being part of the top division in a country can be the difference between millions and millions of euros.

Can Soccer Teams Lose Money?

There are a ton of teams that make a huge amount of money each year, but there is a different side to professional soccer as well. Some of the teams out there do not make money at all, while others actually lose money while trying to grow.

There can be several reasons why a team ends up losing money. Maybe they were originally in a higher division, but they were recently relegated. All of a sudden, they are not making nearly the same amount of money, and their expenses start to pile up.

It could also be the case of a team not bringing in the same type of support as before. Maybe they need a new stadium, the team is not producing on the field, or something else. Fans can be fickle in certain situations, and a failure to listen to them can cause some trouble.

Finally, there are only so many opportunities for fans to watch soccer that there will always be teams, and entire leagues, left out of the mix. Unless a person really wants to pay attention to a certain brand of soccer, they can easily gloss over a lower league match up. Soccer is extremely popular, but it is difficult to create a lot of money in some scenarios.

Is The Money In Soccer Here To Stay?

Soccer is one of the sports that has a great outlook overall. Not only is it already one of the most popular sports in the world, but it seems to be growing in other sections as well. People in the United States and Asia are watching soccer more than ever, which is only going to raise the overall profile of the top teams.

Broadcasting rights continue to reach astronomical levels, and unlike traditional television, people are always going to want to watch sports live. Failure to do so means that there is a chance a person figures out the results before they watch. People can watch their favorite sitcom on tape delay, but big soccer matches are always appointment television.

Connor Smith

I'm Connor, the guy behind SoccerPrime. I'm a former NCAA Div 1 college player that retired at the age of 21 due to injuries - which led me into a new career as a soccer coach.

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