• New technology demonstrates sponsors currently underpay because social and digital is not measured or valued.
  • Manchester Utd top social media shirt sponsorship valuation league at £36.8million
  • Leicester City deliver 15 x sponsorship fee for shirt sponsors in social media exposure value alone – league table below.
  • Ability to accurately measure and value social and digital exposure set to be a sponsorship game-changer.

LONDON: 5th May, 2016 – Premier League football clubs can look forward to a £ multi-million revenue boost thanks to breakthrough technology developed by a London – based start-up SnapRapid which unlocks the massive value of sponsor exposure across social media and digital channels.

A season-long study by SnapRapid shows the 20 clubs generated almost £200million worth of exposure globally for their shirt sponsors in video and still images across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Vimeo, Tumblr, Google+, Vine, Dailymotion and Reddit. But as their current sponsorship deals are based on measured television exposure they largely ignore digital value – basing any value on sheer guesswork.

According to SnapRapid Founder and CEO Russell Glenister this has led to a dramatic under-valuation of rights across sport.

That means that clubs, who will benefit from the biggest TV deals in history from next season, can also look forward to securing far bigger sponsorship deals which reflect this previously unmeasured value.

As consumers continue to move towards social media as a main source of information, entertainment and communication the ability to accurately measure exposure across these channels will transform the way sponsorship deals are valued and negotiated across all sport.

SnapRapid, a specialist content technology company, has created and refined technology which, for the first time, enables sponsor brand visibility to be identified and measured across social media and other digital channels, allowing media value to be put on coverage which has, until now been too difficult to value.

Jamie_Vardy_2015The technology and methodology is being applied across multiple sports globally and has the potential to shake-up the sponsorship sector which, until now, has been unable to keep up with the shift in media consumption from television to digital media.

Since the beginning of the current season SnapRapid has monitored digital exposure of all Premier League clubs, tracking brand exposure for shirt sponsors across images and video on social media, taking into consideration duration, size, frequency of exposure and the actual engagement with the content.

Valuations are based on industry standard benchmark rates, discounted according to a model developed with major global media agencies and sports rights holders.

Overall, Premier League clubs generated £187.5 million in digital exposure for shirt sponsors, representing a staggering 81% of the total sponsorship income of £230.9 million, the value of which is almost exclusively based on TV exposure.

Among leading clubs Arsenal, delivered £31.7 million of social media exposure alone for sponsors Fly Emirates, actually exceeding the annual sponsorship fee of £30 million.

Manchester United, which receives £53 million per year from US car maker Chevrolet, delivered £36.8m of brand exposure across social media in addition to its expected global TV coverage.

But the significant value of digital is not confined to leading clubs and is evident throughout the league, potentially enabling ‘smaller’ clubs to negotiate better deals and, consequently, look to engage with sponsors in categories beyond online betting which tends to dominate the sector.

In all five clubs, Arsenal, Manchester City, Leicester City. West Ham and Southampton have already delivered greater value from social media than they were paid in overall fees by their shirt sponsors for season 2015-16.

Although media consumption continues to migrate towards social media, sports rights holders and sponsors have been unable to measure the impact of exposure and to reflect its true value in fee negotiations. As a result many £ millions have been left on the negotiating table.

SnapRapid founder Russell Glenister, who has worked in visual content sector for 25 years and sold one of his previous start-ups to Corbis, owned by Bill Gates, said:

“Being able to quantify the extent and value of digital exposure is important to all sports rights owners as well as sponsors themselves. It has been a guessing game until now. New technologies, such as computer science, have changed that, making it possible to understand true value and to make best practice decisions.

“By establishing the value of a mass of digital exposure which is currently unaccounted for by all sports – and therefore ignored – it is possible to put a different perspective on the sponsorship proposition.

“Brands who sponsor sports don’t know the value of coverage they are achieving through digital, because neither they, nor rights owners who sell sponsorship, have had a clue – until now. The whole game has changed, everyone is starting realise that the great unknown that has been digital value can be understood, but only if they track and value it as we have been doing with the English Premier League – and others. After all digital is the big bright spot – that is the future.”


Manchester United Chevrolet 53 36.8
Arsenal Fly Emirates 30 31.7
Manchester City Etihad 20 24.3
Liverpool Standard Chartered 25 22.2
Chelsea Yokohama 40 17.0
Leicester City King Power 1 15.3
Tottenham Hotspur AIA 16 12.5
West Ham United Betway 6 8.0
Everton Chang Beer 5.3 4.6
Stoke City Bet365 3 2.4
Swansea City GWFX 4 2.1
West Bromwich Albion TLC Bet 2.3 1.8
Sunderland Dafabet 5 1.7
Crystal Palace Mansion Group 5 1.4
Newcastle United Wonga 6 1.3
Southampton Veho 1 1.2
Norwich City Aviva 1 0.9
Watford 1 0.8
Aston Villa Intuit 5 0.6
Bournemouth Mansion Group 1.3 0.3


SnapRapid uses a classifying system based on ‘deep learning’, or more specifically, convolutional neural networks.

The motivation behind this method is that the ‘features’ used to describe an object can be learned directly from the data, rather than having to code them by hand, the advantage of which is that highly complex non-linear features can be learned simply by applying relatively simple learning algorithms to vast quantities of data.

This is far more powerful than traditional approaches, which require features to be identified and coded by hand. The performance of deep learning based methods are often only limited by the amount of data on which they are able to learn. Therefore, improvements in accuracy can often by achieved simply by acquiring more data.

*Note: We extrapolated our season long data and applied it to the last three weeks of the season, as this report was created 25th April 2016 – giving us a season long figure. No consideration was taken for post-season exposure, which will likely add in considerable extra value.

About SnapRapid

SnapRapid is the World’s leading visual tracking and analytics company for rights holders and sponsors in sport. We track sponsor and brand exposure in video and images through social media and digital channels, valuing its coverage and engagement for our clients.

 Further information from:

Russell Glenister, CEO, SnapRapid

Tel: +44 (0) 7775 517020

english premier leaguePremier leagueshirt sponsorsocial mediaSponsorship

Russell Glenister • 9th May 2016

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