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Volume 10 No. 23


The 18 clubs in the J1 top tier of Japan’s Professional Football League increased revenue by 8% to an average of 3.15B yen ($31.5M) in '12, even as money distributed by the J.League itself fell slightly. J.League spokesperson Yasunori Fujiwara told SBD Global, "Income declined a little from local TV rights deals and merchandising, which are the two biggest contributors, along with sponsorship, to the J.League’s finances. So the money we distribute to clubs fell by about 1 percent last year." Total revenue at J1 clubs rose to 56.7B yen ($567M), with income from advertising and sponsorship growing 6% to $251M, and gate receipts boosted 10% to $119M, after an '11 season affected by the triple earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters which saw total attendances down by more than 800,000 across the two divisions.

BOOST FROM TOKYO: According to Fujiwara, the return to the top division of FC Tokyo, one of the league’s biggest clubs, also boosted J1 revenues, while hitting income in J2, which fell by 8% to a total of $205M. Urawa Reds, based just north of Tokyo in Saitama, remained Japan’s and Asia’s biggest football club, with revenues of $53.5M from average gates of 36,634.

TV DEALS RAISE PROFILE: The J.League is continuing with its attempts to raise its profile across Asia with two recent TV deals in the region. Following an agreement announced last month with Vietnam Television Cable Corp. to show one recorded and one live game weekly, the J.League inked a deal this month with Hong Kong Cable TV’s i-Cable. The new arrangement will see three games from each round of J.League matches broadcast, up from two games in a previous deal with PCCW’s net-based NOW network. Fujiwara said that although the new deals will see an increase in J.League games broadcast in Vietnam and Hong Kong from this month, they don’t provide additional revenue. Fujiwara: "The J.League doesn’t charge for rights to broadcast games in Asian territories, it’s just for promotion." Fujiwara added that networks such as Eurosport and Al Jazeera do pay licensing fees.
Gavin Blair is a writer in Tokyo.

Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart "has to compensate the partial withdrawal of exclusive partner energy provider EnBW," according to Thomas Näher of the STUTTGARTER ZEITUNG. Club Marketing Dir Jochen Röttgermann "has brushed up the club's sponsorship pool through a large-scale offensive." However, at the end of the day a financial gap of around €2M ($2.6M) "remains." The reason is EnBW's "partial withdrawal of its sponsorship." The company paid €3.5M ($4.6M) annually to the club, but as its new official sponsor of the youth academy and shirt sponsor of the VfB's youth teams it will only pay €1M ($1.3M) a year. The result is a financial gap of €2.5M ($3.3M). The club "has aquired new sponsorship deals and extended existing ones, but they only contribute an insignificant amount to close the gap." In addition, technical service provider Imtech, sponsor of the club's business center, announced that "it will terminate its deal with the team" in '14, which is understood to be worth €750,000 ($985,000) (STUTTGARTER ZEITUNG, 7/13).