As the world of football becomes more and more commercialised, sponsors become an ever-bigger driving force in the quest for trophies. However, getting the right sponsors to give your team the financial support they need isn’t always easy.
In Football Manager, there are few things more fun than splashing the cash. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you have a flow of money coming through. Your revenue stream can constitute all sorts of things including prize money, gate receipts, sold players and of course, sponsors.
Every year, sponsorship makes up a bigger part of the revenue equation. Few teams can sustain a positive transfer balance sheet for a long period without a decline on the pitch. Similarly, fans aren’t getting richer at a speed fast enough to keep up with the growth of football. This means that sponsors lead the way in driving the commercial ascent of the game.
But how do you get sponsors for your team in Football Manager? Although the financial side of the game is detailed and intricate, over the years there is still no mechanism for you to directly deal with individual sponsors.
Instead, it is up to you to develop the reputation of the club in a way that means your board can get the best sponsors possible.
There are lots of ways to do this, and so indirectly you can have a huge impact on the sponsors that your team gets, even if you’re not negotiating each individual deal.
Here are the top tips for you to not just find a sponsor for your team but the most valuable one. Hold on for an increased revenue stream and cash for top players and facilities.
How do I get more sponsors on Football Manager?
One way or another, it all comes back to your team’s reputation when it comes to earning sponsors. Sponsors are there to have their name associated with a top brand, so the more elite your team, the better fees you’ll be able to attract. There are plenty of ways you can boost your team’s reputation to make your club as magnetic as possible. Let’s have a look through them.
#1 On the pitch
For now, as has historically been the case, success on the pitch is the key to global standing. The biggest clubs in the world like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool have built their global reach through consistently winning domestic and international trophies for decades.
Even Manchester United remains a global name despite the years of underachievement since Alex Ferguson left the club.
However, history isn’t everything. A few years of success is all that is needed to make a team’s reputation global. Chelsea was a relative unknown outside of England until they started winning trophies in 2006 and are now a household name around the globe. Manchester City is another team with very little history that dominated the 2010s and rapidly became a highly revered name in the football world.
If you want to be attractive to sponsors in Football Manager, your priority should always be success on the pitch. You don’t have to be hauling in Champions League trophies to get a sponsor. Just jumping up from the country’s fourth division to the third division will be enough to increase the quality of your sponsors.
The main function of some competitions is to boost the reputation of smaller clubs. For example, a League Cup win for a smaller club can do wonders to boost their reputation and earn them a couple of years of increased sponsorships. This is why it may be worth focusing on cup competitions if you’re a smaller club as they offer you an easier path to reputation-boosting silverware.
On the other side of things, if you’re a large club you are likely to see less of a boost to your reputation from winning a smaller competition like this. This is why you should keep your players fit for the biggest competitions that will earn you global recognition, and not waste them on smaller trophies.
If you want to attract your team’s first sponsor or increase their sponsorship revenue, always start by aiming for success on the pitch. It is important however to direct this at the trophies that offer the biggest reputational advantage for you.
#2 Big-name signings
The next best thing after trophies is top players. Many of the world’s elite players have reputations of their own which can cause flocks of sponsors to immediately follow. This is why people sometimes talk about transfers paying for themselves. Although you may have to cough up a big lump sum to the selling club, if the signed player boosts your reputation, then you can expect increased sponsorship revenue meaning you hopefully make your money back in the long term.
It is possible to check players’ reputations on their information page. It’s okay to keep things relative. No one expects the third division team to sign a World Cup winner. However, the opportunity to sign a player whose reputation slightly exceeds yours then go for it as it may work wonders for boosting your reputation. The key thing is to be aiming up and it is not necessary to always get the Ballon D’or winners.
It’s not just the level at which they play that you want to look at, but also where they play or have played. The player’s nationality can represent a possible market for your club to break into. For example, signing Cristiano Ronaldo will correlate with a boost of excitement in Portugal.
This sort of thinking can be a great way of taking a team’s reputation global. It offers the opportunity to introduce your team to distant corners of the earth. Currently, teams from Asian countries provide an excellent means of doing this.
The standard of football in China and India are not currently that high meaning their best players are more accessible to smaller clubs. However, despite coming from more realistic leagues, they will attract a large following due to the widespread interest in football in the country. This is a great method for smaller clubs to start globalising their brand.
However, you may want to consider improving your finances first before making such signings!
Arranging friendlies may seem like something you’re tempted to leave your assistant manager. However, when it’s done right it can be a great way of introducing your team to previously untouched countries. Preseason friendlies are a fantastic way of getting your fitness up and potentially increasing your reputation.
If sponsors know that your club travels around, they’ll want their name on your shirt. Even if it’s just for preseason, a couple of months a year where the team is strutting their stuff in front of a new market is a chance to boost your club’s stature.
This is why it has become so common over the last decade or so for big Premier League and La Liga clubs to travel to countries like the US in the off-season. You hit two birds with one stone, as this can also be a means of getting some short-term gate receipt boosts.
Also, remember that arranged friendlies can be made as part of transfer deals. So don’t be shy when you’re aiming to snap up a bargain on the market. That way, you’re signing an exciting player and appealing to fans that will bring further new eyes onto your team.
#4 Reaching stardom
Your club isn’t going to become a global name overnight. The main thing is to focus on increasing the team’s reputation a little bit each year so that you can consistently rack in more sponsorship money and reinvest in the team.
Following these steps is a sure-fire way to start climbing the ladder and have companies scrambling to be associated with your club!
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