Barclays sponsors Premier League three more years

The English Premier League again showed its resilience to the global recession with the announcement Friday that Barclays PLC will pay 82.25 million pounds ($134.5 million) to sponsor the competition for three more years.

Barclays had been conducting a review of its worldwide sponsorships in response to the gloomy economic mood and the 20 Premier League clubs rejected its initial offer.

Britain’s third largest bank eventually agreed to pay 25 percent more than the 65.8 million pounds it paid for the three-year deal set to expire at the end of this season.

“The clubs unanimously accepted Barclays’ proposal,” Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore said.

The deal comes eight months after the world’s most popular football league sold domestic broadcast rights for the 2010-13 seasons for 1.782 billion pounds (then $2.58 billion), an increase of 5 percent over the preceding three years.

One of the few major banks not to take part in the British government’s multibillion pound bailout of the sector last year, Barclays has had its name attached to England’s top league since 2004.

For three years prior to that, it used the naming rights to advertise its Barclaycard credit card.

The agreement gives Barclays domestic and international exposure, with the Premier League followed by millions of fans worldwide.

As well as having its title attached to the Premier League, Barclays will continue to name the Premier League Asia Trophy – a biannual preseason tournament featuring Premier League sides and two local teams.

The trophy was played in Beijing this year, with Tottenham beating Hull 3-0 in the final.

“The Premier League’s strength is that it is an essentially English competition that has gained a huge international following,” Scudamore said.

Barclay’s shares closed up 0.68 percent at 361.45 pence ($5.91) on the London Stock Exchange.