The Premier League will not have a title sponsor from season 2016-17, apparently echoing the strategy adopted by major American sports leagues such as the NBA and NFL in presenting a ‘clean’ brand.
Having been sponsored by Barclays since 2004, in 2016 the competition will be known simply as ‘The Premier League’.
Barclays paid £57m for a three-year sponsorship deal in 2004 and subsequent extensions saw the value rise to the £120m paid for the existing three-year sponsorship in 2012.
This has been reduced almost to a drop in the league’s financial ocean by comparison with £5.136bn which Sky and BT Sport are paying for live Premier League TV rights for three seasons from 2016-17.
Premier League sources have stressed the strategy will not impinge on their clubs’ ability to pursue their own individual commercial models.
A spokesman said: “Barclays has been an excellent partner for the League throughout their sponsorship of the competition and we look forward to working with them in 2015/16, the final season of their title sponsorship.”
The Premier League did not have a title sponsor in its inaugural season of 1992-93 before signing a four-year, £12m deal with brewers Carling – at the time the biggest in British sport.
Carling subsequently paid triple that initial amount to secure a four-year extention to their original deal, before Barclaycard paid £48m for a three-year contract beginning in 2001.
However the bank indicated in March that they would not seek to renew the deal when it expires at the end of the 2015-16 season.