Britain’s ‘Summer of Sport’ is still rippling through the news, with a recent report suggesting sports sponsorship is going to receive a boost in 2013 thanks to London 2012.
The report reveals Paralympic and women’s sports, which were previously less commercially viable, have benefitted from the exposure and both are now considered to be more attractive to sponsors.
Based on a survey of influential industry figures and sponsors, including LOCOG, BPA, BBC, Sony, Land Rover and Sport England, the report also revealed that three-quarters of brands believe new sponsors will enter the market as a direct result of the Games.
The rise in potential future sponsorship for Paralympic sports matches increased government funding. For sponsors, there is also the chance to partner with more niche offerings that appeal to different markets. According to Tim Hollingsworth, chief executive of the British Paralympic Association: ‘Commercial partners will have realised that Paralympic sponsorship offers something unique and it is therefore no surprise that industry figures are predicting increasing interest in both the Paralympic movement and women’s sports in the future.’ It’s not just an increase in the sponsors themselves, the amount each sponsor expects to spend is also set to rise with half of the surveyed brands believing they will now spend more.
Both sports and sponsors hope to increase the levels of youth participation to further increase funding, commercialism and medal targets. Lord Coe said: ‘From the research, it’s fair to say that companies that live and die by their ability to understand what young people are doing are actually probably more accurate and effective drivers of sport participation than public sector initiatives.’
The benefit of sponsorship over other marketing disciplines is explained by Andy Westlake, chief executive officer at sports marketing agency Fast Track: ‘In an increasingly fragmented communications market, sports sponsorship allows brands to get right within a targeted consumer’s sweet spot.’ You just have to look at Adidas’ sales to see that sponsorship done right can really work, though unofficial advertising also plays its part and our Adidas vs Nike Social Media Battle is a good example of both approaches.