Barca, Man United among top-earning clubs from 2023 kit sales

As part of their annual report into the financial landscape of European club football, UEFA recently released an exhaustive dossier for 2023 that covered, among many things, a rundown of the continent’s top-earning clubs in terms of replica kit sales.

The chart shows each club’s kit manufacturer sponsorship revenues (i.e. income from their kit supply deals) merged with their total merchandising revenues for the calendar year. As such it can be used as a fairly accurate measure of each side’s global popularity — at least in terms of their official apparel.

Revenues from kit sales and merchandising have risen approximately 60 percent since 2019, with the post-pandemic era seeing a boom both in the popularity of elite European football and the ever-increasing creep of commercialisation at the top of the sport.

Unsurprisingly, the top 10 of UEFA’s kit revenue breakdown is dominated by prominent clubs from just four of European football’s “big five” leagues, who have their kit deals split between just two of the game’s most ubiquitous suppliers.

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10. Tottenham (Nike) – €74 million

Narrowly keeping Premier League rivals Manchester City (€73m) out of the top 10 for the time being, Tottenham sneak into the upper echelon when it comes to global kit revenue by their unusually long 15-year kit supply deal with Nike, signed back in 2018.

9. Juventus (Adidas) – €74m

Level-pegging with Spurs are Juventus, who successfully maintained their high level of kit revenue throughout 2023 despite opting for several non-traditional home, away, and third shirt designs over the year that instantly divided opinion right down the middle.

8. Chelsea (Nike) – €87m

Despite kicking off the 2023-24 with blank shirts after struggling to land a suitable sponsorship deal until October, Chelsea’s retro-infused, 90s-themed kits were sufficiently popular among fans enough to see the Blues hold firm in the top 10.

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7. Arsenal (Adidas) – €89m

The highest-ranked London club in UEFA’s rundown, Arsenal have made a concerted effort to ramp up their kit and apparel revenue in recent years by releasing high-concept kits as well as retro streetwear collections and designer collaborations.

The tactic has certainly been successful with the Gunners propelling their merchandising revenue up from €65m in 2022.

The Parisian heavyweights are the only Ligue 1 club included in the top 20 of UEFA’s report with high replica kit sales and a long-standing collaboration with Michael Jordan’s trendy “Jumpman” brand leaving the French giants within spitting distance of cracking the €100m threshold.

It also helps to have a bona fide worldwide superstar in Kylian Mbappé on board, though PSG might not be able to rely on that particular revenue stream for much longer.

Manchester United have been one of the most commercially active clubs in world football for decades now, so it’s no surprise to see them occupying prime real estate at the top end of UEFA’s global merchandising analytics. After all, how many other teams can boast an Official Global Mattress and Pillow Partner?

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4. Liverpool (Nike) – €132m

Nudging ahead of United by a slim margin, Liverpool are currently the Premier League’s top earners in terms of their shirt sales and merchandise income despite having seen their overall kit revenue fall around 3.5 percent from €137m in 2022.

Conversely, Bayern have seen their total annual merchandise revenue ramp up from €128m in 2022 with the Bavarian giants’ long and unwavering commercial relationship with Adidas (which dates back to the 1960s) set to run until the summer of 2030 at the very earliest.

Real first signed a kit supply deal with Adidas in 1980 and, after drifting apart through the 1990s, the two entities reunited in 1998 and have remained intertwined ever since. Los Blancos‘ famous pristine white shirt is known and revered throughout the world and the Spanish club’s annual merchandise sales certainly reflect that fact.

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1. Barcelona (Nike) – €179m

The hallowed blaugrana stripes of Barcelona now represent the most lucrative shirt design in European football after the Catalans saw their merchandise revenue leap up from €119m in 2020. This must have come as incredibly good news to Barca’s accounting department, who have recently been navigating through a particularly rocky period in the club’s oft-wrought financial history.

Full top 20:

1. Barcelona (Nike) – €179m
2. Real Madrid (Adidas) – €155m
3. Bayern Munich (Adidas) – €147m
4. Liverpool (Nike) – €132m
5. Manchester United (Adidas) – €130m
6. Paris Saint-Germain (Nike) – €97m
7. Arsenal (Adidas) – €89m
8. Chelsea (Nike) – €87m
9. Juventus (Adidas) – €74m
10. Tottenham (Nike) – €74m
11. Manchester City (Puma) – €73m
12. Borussia Dortmund (Puma) – €54m
13. AC Milan (Puma) – €47m
14. Ajax (Adidas) – €41m
15. Galatasaray (Nike) – €35m
16. Leeds United (Adidas) – €35m
17. Celtic (Adidas) – €34m
18. Fenerbahçe (Puma) – €31m
19. Eintracht Frankfurt (Nike) – €26m
20. Inter Milan (Nike) – €26m