Following are the companies and organisations that are enjoying a strong branding presence across the physical and digital assets of the Premier League, England’s top tier of professional football, for the 2021-22 season.
MAIN NAME – THE ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE (EPL)
FOUNDED – 1992
EA Sports has held license for the English topflight for its annual FIFA release for many years in at least some capacity. In 2014, ahead of the release of FIFA 15, EA strengthened its ties with the Premier League with a first-of-its-kind partnership that granted the video game company access to integrate Premier League licensing within FIFA to an unprecedented level – with fully scanned stadia of all 20 Premier League teams of that time as well as head-scans for all major players from each club. The partnership has gone from strength to strength ever since.
EA Sports was announced as the Premier League’s Lead Partner in August 2016, ahead of the 2016-17 season, in a deal reportedly worth US$28.3 million per year. Apart from increased branding exposure, the expanded deal sees EA Sports sponsor the league’s Player of the Month and Season awards as well as the Fantasy Premier League.
The British financial services company has enjoyed a long and fruitful partnership with the Premier League. Aside from having served as the league’s title sponsor between 2001 and 2016, Barclays continues to serve the Premier League as its Official Bank.
The two parties last renewed their partnership in March 2019 to run until the end of the 2021-22 season in a deal worth £31.5 million.
The AB InBev beer brand serves as the Official Beer to the Premier League since July 2019 and covers over 20 countries across 5 continents.
The partnership sees the two parties work on several fan engagement activities, with Budweiser also holding image rights for the Premier League players to feature in its promotional content.
Hublot replaced fellow Swiss luxury watchmaker Tag Heuer as the Official Timekeeper of the Premier League ahead of the 2020-21 season in September 2020.
The deal sees Hublot provide watches to the officials during Premier League matches as well as receive pitchside and broadcast advertising.
In February 2021, Hublot released a limited-edition, Premier League-themed Big Bang e connected watch.
Nike serves as the official match ball supplier to the Premier League since 2000. It also provides equipment for the league’s youth development programmes and supports the Primary Stars Kit and Equipment Scheme – a Premier League initiative to encourage schoolkids to play football by providing kits and equipment.
The two parties last extended their partnership in November 2018 to run until 2025.
OFFICIAL CLOUD PARTNER
The Austin, Texas-headquartered American tech giant was announced as Premier League’s Official Cloud Partner in May 2021.
As per the deal, Oracle implements its cloud infrastructure and machine learning models to deliver advanced data-driven football analytics. Most of these analytics feature as infographics in the league’s live broadcasts in real-time, both on-screen and across its social media channels. Some of these new offerings include average formation, live win probability and momentum tracker.
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The California-based global sportswear branding and labelling manufacturer serves as the Premier League’s official supplier to all teams for names, numbers and sleeve badges since June 2019.
Avery Dennison’s products are made in a low-carbon, landfill-free facility in Norway where the plastics used in the process are re-used within the supply chain to ensure minimum waste generation in an environmental-friendly process. Avery’s products also come with smart digital technology that offer bespoke fan experiences to customers.
Modena-based Italian publishing company Panini is the official sticker and trading card licensee of the Premier League.
The Panini Group and football go back a long way. For many decades, Panini has created trading cards and stickers based on football players, making “Panini” a very common word among many football-mad households.
Panini’s partnership with the Premier League gives the company image rights to the league’s players to feature in its trading cards collection.
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OFFICIAL UK BROADCAST PARTNERS
Unlike in India, where Star Sports holds rights to broadcast each and every Premier League match via the league’s in-house Worldwide feed (Premier League Productions), broadcasting in the UK works differently.
Ideally, the UK observes a “3pm blackout” where no major football is broadcast live between 2:45pm and 5:15pm to encourage people to go to the stadia. This was temporarily lifted in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the 2021-22 season is set to see the fans return to the grounds in full capacity.
Instead, Premier League fixtures are spread across major British broadcasters throughout the season. Apart from that, companion shows such as BBC’s Match of the Day are also a staple of football consumption amongst the British people.
These are the major broadcasters that hold rights to show Premier League football within the UK –
Sky Sports – Sky Sports, a London-headquartered, March 1990-founded group of subscription-based sports channels, is the official sports division of satellite pay-TV company Sky, which is owned by Philadelphia-based American telecommunications conglomerate Comcast.
BT Sport – BT Sport is a London-based, August 2013-founded pay-TV sports channels and is owned by BT Group.
Amazon Prime Video – Launched in September 2006, Prime Video is Amazon’s OTT streaming offering with the service based out of Seattle.
BBC Sport – Founded in February 1988, BBC Sport is the sports division of the British Broadcasting Corporation. It is headquartered in Salford, Greater Manchester.
In May 2021, the Premier League announced that it had “rolled over” its existing £5 billion agreement with the aforementioned companies for its live and non-live broadcast partnership to cover the next broadcast cycle that covers the seasons 2022-23 to 2024-25.
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OFFICIAL UK RADIO BROADCAST PARTNERS
Radio-based consumption of football matches is also widespread in the UK. Here are the major radio stations that offer live commentary on Premier League matches –
BBC Radio 5 Live – Radio 5 Live is BBC’s national radio service dedicated to sports. Operating since March 1994, the station is based in MediaCityUK in Salford and is part of the BBC North division.
talkSPORT – Owned by News UK, talkSPORT is a 1995-founded sports radio station headquartered in London.