Outside the United States, soccer (it’s football everywhere but here) is the biggest sports draw in the world. Especially in Great Britain. That could be one of the most telling reasons why the English Premier League just reported a record revenue of about $6.4 billion for the 2016-17 season. About $1.4 billion of that was pure profit.
That massive number represents a 25 increase over the previous year. CNN and other media outlets are reporting a lot of that revenue came from new TV deals which were kicked off in that season, as well as increasing popularity — and success — of EPL teams. The League reportedly shared the wealth, opting for a wage increase across the board, as teams invested more in their products, much to the delight of fans. Teams traded players in blockbuster deals across the board, increasing the competition and anticipation for a growing fan base. The spending spree could be a precursor to another massive trade scramble after the upcoming FIFA World Cup. The best players in the world use the Cup as a showcase for their talents, hoping some of the more deep-pocketed teams will take notice. In that case, it’s an opportunity for the rich to get richer.
Unlike many other pro sports leagues, in the European Leagues, the best-performing teams are elevated, and the losing squads are dropped to a series of lower levels, giving every club a strong incentive to make it into the top circle and fight hard to stay there. The Premier League offers the best chance at both notoriety and income for the teams and the players, so competition is fierce. While a handful of teams are always expected to play at the highest level, there’s always a chance for a Cinderella to rise. In this way, the EPL brings some of the same anticipatory excitement as the NCAA basketball March Madness. No matter who the giants are, there is always the chance of one or two giant-slayers coming up through the ranks.
Given those incentives, as well as the fanatical fan support, the EPL easily reaches financial heights well above even the other four top Euro leagues: Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Seria A, and La Liga.
These paydays, as well as the promise of more cash to come, keep the EPL digging deeper for ways to get better, get more fans engaged and keep the cash flowing in. If the teams are able to poach even more world-class players after the Cup, the League can likely look forward to even more success.
Ronn Torossian is one of the most well respected Public Relations professionals in America. Under his leadership, 5WPR, which he founded in 2003, has grown into one of the top 10 independent PR firms in the nation.