Real Madrid follows the wake of Ferrari in the Middle East

A big business, though not very original. These few words are enough to define the new Real Madrid business challenge, that from 2015, can boast of being the first football team in the world with a theme park with its name. Location, of course, in the United Arab Emirates.

Real Madrid Resort Island

Great, but not original, because the white team follows the trail of what he did two years ago, Ferrari. The sports car manufacturer has a similar structure in Abu Dhabi. But, how does the club chaired by Florentino Pérez take advantage of such a project? Who holds the weight of investment in the park, estimated at about 1,000 million dollars (750 million euros)? Obviously, the team, whose debt stands at close to its annual turnover (nearly 500 million euros), can not sustain such investment.

Thus, even in the business model, Real Madrid has been inspired by Ferrari. As has happened with the "Cavallino Rampante" Park in Abu Dhabi, local authorities put the money to build the facilities and the Real Madrid club, its brand, gaining a percentage of park revenues.

Industry experts agree: the model Ferrari-Real Madrid is a very special sports sponsorship. A backwards sponsorship, in which teams or companies put their marks on facilities, earn money and do not pay for it. A sort of luxury sponsor that only global marks have access to draft. "In a situation where gate receipts and TV rights tend to decrease while increasing the pressure of European sports associations to clean up balance sheets, sponsorships become the key to maintaining economic sustainability", explains a consultancy specializing in sports. "A strong and global brand is necessary to get good sponsorship".

Thus, the economic power of Real Madrid and other big names like Ferrari, is precisely the appeal of its brand. With such names, known worldwide, attract sponsors from emerging countries alleviates significantly the acute pressure that teams suffer due to lower other income, interest payments on debt and a wage that can reach 80% of turnover.

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