Page last updated at 12:39 GMT, Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Premier League looks to net technology partner

Wolves v Manchester City
The Premier League has proved a resilient product during the downturn

The Premier League is to create a new sponsorship category by appointing its first official technology partner.

Under the deal, fans will be able to access more league information and use new technology allowing them to do things like monitor player performance.

The partner will have its name featured on 380 TV match broadcasts as well as the league's website.

The league hailed the move as a "rare and exciting one" for the organisation and its as yet unnamed partner.

"New sectors for Premier League sponsorship rarely arise and we think this opportunity is a very exciting one," said the league's marketing and sales director, Richard Masters.

'Increasing demand'

The technology partner will join a small group of existing sponsors who the league says "receive exceptional returns on investment and positive brand association".

The deal would start next season, 2010/11, and initially last for three years.

The Premier League has proved a resilient product during the recent economic downturn and has managed to increase its revenues from TV deals signed around the globe.

It is thought a new technology category would help boost its image and profile around the globe, and it is understood an international brand would be favoured as the new sponsor.

Revenues from sponsors account for about 5% of the Premier League's £1.03bn annual turnover.

They include the league title sponsor Barclays, which recently signed up to continue its partnership until the 2012/13 season.

Other sponsors include ball supplier Nike, as well as Lucozade Sport, Budweiser, Wrigley's Extra, EA Sports, Topps Merlin, Sporting iD, and The New Football Pools.

Premier League games are broadcast in more than 200 territories and Mr Masters says that has lead to an "increasing demand for in-depth information" about teams, matches, and players.

The new category is the first to be created since Budweiser was appointed as official beer eight years ago.

No details about how much it will cost to secure the partnership have been released.

However, the new three-year deal signed with Barclays in October was worth £82.25m.

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