Sales of Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous No.7 Manchester United shirt broke the Premier League record within 12 hours of their release.
But even a tidal wave of fan demand for his now iconic kit won’t recoup the â¬ 15million (Â£ 12.85million / AU $ 24million) the club paid for the big one. Portuguese.
According to LovetheSales.com, within 12 hours of the release of Ronaldo’s new kit, fans spent Â£ 32.5million (AU $ 60million) on his shirt – a Premier League record for the 12 hours after the announcement of a player’s official jersey number. LovetheSales.com tracks sales data from over 1,000 UK online retailers.
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With United kits emblazoned with the superstar’s number costing between Â£ 80 and Â£ 110, that means around 295,500 shirts and 406,250 shirts were sold during that time period. That staggering number means he already owns the best-selling shirt of any Premier League player, above the Manchester City star who signed Jack Grealish.
United and official kit maker Adidas have struggled to keep up with demand, with the club’s official website indicating that not all shirts will ship until October 1. Other UK retailers – both online and in person – have seen widespread shortages, with many selling out of the jersey.
But while fans have spent Â£ 32.5million in just 12 hours, the club themselves will only earn a tiny fraction of that figure – shattering the myth that shirt sales alone could pay for its mega transfer to United.
Manchester United signed a decade-long deal with Adidas worth Â£ 750million in 2014 in what is the biggest kit deal ever in football history.
And while the details of that deal are a closely guarded secret, United is unlikely to pocket up to 10% of revenue from shirt sales.
A typical deal between manufacturers and big clubs is that clubs will only earn a maximum of 10 percent of the revenue after selling a certain number of jerseys, say a million.
But an expert recently estimated that United’s cut in earnings will be significantly less than that.
“The fees have already been agreed between the manufacturer and the club,” Dr Dan Plumley, senior lecturer in sports finance at Sheffield Hallam University, told the BBC. âSo the sales of shirts go to the manufacturer – or the majority of them [do]. “
While he said, “This (club cut) is very unlikely to ever be more than 10%”, Dr Plumley claims the real figure United would pocket would be a maximum of Â£ 5 per shirt.
Considering that shirts featuring Ronaldo’s name and number sell for between Â£ 80 and Â£ 110 apiece, that means United’s estimated take is at best 6.25% and at worst around 4.5% of the price. of sale.
If the Â£ 32.5million in revenue from Ronaldo jersey sales in the first 12 hours came from an intermediate average price of Â£ 90 per jersey, that means around 360,000 jerseys have been sold.
If United made Â£ 5 from each of those sales, that would work out to around Â£ 1.8million in their coffers.
So those claims that United are getting back the Â£ 12.85million they paid Juventus for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner are way off target.
Luckily for United, shirt sales represent a tiny fraction of the club’s revenue, which last year amounted to Â£ 509million. The real financial benefit of bringing Ronaldo home is more brand value and the resulting deals with sponsors and the like.
But money will mean a lot less for the club than winning the Premier League.