Sport licenced products in the football industry
A significant source of revenue for sport team and event properties around the world is their licensed merchandise. In licensing agreements, sport properties transfer to other organisations or manufacturers the right to use their trademarks for commercial purposes. Official jerseys of mega sport brands Manchester United and Real Madrid are the most popular items among football (soccer) fans around the world, while the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil generated $107 million through licensing rights. The demand for licensed sports merchandise is primarily driven by the rising popularity of sporting brands and leagues and their increasing fan bases. Given the significant role of the sport licensed products in complementing the financial resources of football clubs and international football organisations, the present chapter (a) describes the size and characteristics of the sport licensing market; (b) identifies the unique aspects of the consumption of football licensed products; (c) discusses the tangible and symbolic meanings which give value to the particular products and present relevant empirical findings; and (d) engages in critical thinking regarding challenges confronted by football marketers, such as right protection and piracy, e-commerce, and new product categories for sport licensing.