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Bayern Munich Signs Deutsche Telekom to Largest Ever Football Sponsorship Deal

Last Updated Nov 20, 2009 1:07 PM EST

Bayern Munich has landed the biggest lead sponsorship deal on the planet: £25.5 million (€25 million, $37.3 million)a year from Deutsche Telekom, whose T-Home brand adorns the Bundesliga team's shirts. The deal -- which runs through 2013 -- puts Bayern atop BNET's Global Football Sponsorship Deal League (see below), vaulting Liverpool F.C., Manchester United and Real Madrid, who all cut new deals this year.

The Bayern pact is a surprise for two reasons. First, German teams have a much smaller international following than the giant brands of the English and Spanish leagues. The size of the deal is explained in its small print -- a large chunk of the compensation is performance related, which means the club might not see it.

Second, Bayern had been believed to be in talks with Audi for a £90 million deal. That negotiation appears to have been set aside for T-Home. (News of the Audi bid was probably a negotiating tactic to put pressure on Deutsche Telekom -- both Manchester and Liverpool floated putative competitor sponsors before signing with Aon and Standard Chartered, respectively.)

Lastly, the swathe of new deals signed by the biggest clubs this year show that despite the recession there has been no slackening of interest or decline in demand for football sponsorships.

Coming Next: Naming rights contracts for major stadia such as Chelsea F.C.'s Stamford Bridge and Liverpool's "new Anfield" stadium at Stanley Park. Those deals could easily be larger than lead sponsor/shirt logo deals that have previously been football's advertising bread-and-butter.

BNET's Global Football Sponsorship Deal League:
  1. Bayern Munich: £25.5 million a year (through 2013) with Deutsche Telekom/T-Home
  2. Liverpool: £20 million a year (£81 million over four years) with Standard Chartered
  3. Manchester United: £20 million a year (£80 million over four years) with Aon
  4. Real Madrid: £18.3 million a year (£55 million over three years) with
  5. Juventus: £15 million a year (£75 million over five years) with Tamoil
  6. Chelsea: £12.5 million a year (£37.5 million over three years) with Samsung
  7. Manchester City: £8m a year (£24 million over three years) with Etihad Airways.
  8. Arsenal: £6.7 million a year (£100 million over 15 years) with Emirates