Before the start the English Premier League season, we have some fun thinking about ‘shirtonomics’ – looking at the most expensive and cheapest footballers names a fan can have etched on the back of their new shirt.
For the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 season Jussi Jääskeläinen has been the most expensive player to get on the back of your shirt (making some simple cost assumptions). Patrice Evra and Joe Hart would have been the bargain buys over the last two years.
The latest data would suggest that bargains don’t seem to interest fans however. Sports Direct, a sports retail company, recently released figures on player shirt sales showing that Angel di Maria (9.59%), Alexis Sanchez (3.80%) and Diego Costa (2.27%) topped the list for player shirt sales in the English Premier League. Unsurprisingly, their is a taste for superstar or status buys and consumers have a preference for players owned by bigger clubs. The breakdown of shirt sales across regions can be viewed here for the elite Premier League Clubs.
While ‘shirtonomics’ is intended to taken with a pinch of salt, the list released by Sports Direct highlights the growing importance of image rights and a clubs ability to market their stars. From what I read, leveraging the image of Gareth Bale was essential to finding a viable model for his sale to Real Madrid.