This Key Note Market Report examines the UK sports sponsorship market in the context of sports marketing. The sponsorship of sport can be defined as the funding of any sporting activity by a commercial organisation as part of its communication programme, such as public relations (PR), advertising, marketing, etc.
The market is usually segmented in one of two ways, namely according to the type of sport sponsored, or according to the industry sector that the sponsoring company falls into. Football and Formula 1 racing — together — account for more than half of all sports sponsorship spending in a market otherwise fragmented across dozens of sports, each offering sponsorship opportunities for leagues, cups, teams, individuals or even stadium sponsorships.
The market attracts sponsoring companies from most industry sectors, although financial services and alcoholic drinks brands are traditionally the biggest contributors to sports sponsorship (e.g. the Barclays Premier League in football, and the Heineken Cup and Guinness Championship in rugby). The global financial crisis of 2008, which triggered the current malaise in the UK economy, forced banks, building societies and insurance companies to review their sponsorship spending. As a result, a number of banks halted some of their major sports sponsorship activities. Examples include RBS ending its sponsorship contract of the Williams Formula 1 racing team and Nationwide ending its 11-year sponsorship of the England football team.
Key Note expects the UK sports sponsorship market to grow robustly over the 3 years leading up to 2014, benefitting predominantly from two major sporting events: the Olympic Games (London 2012) and the Commonwealth Games (Glasgow 2014). There is, however, a risk that these events could temporarily divert funds from the more regularly sponsored sports such as football and Formula 1. Overall, Key Note forecasts that the UK sports sponsorship market will grow to a value of £1.92bn by 2015, up from £1.59bn at the time of writing.
This report is available to current London Business School staff, students and faculty from Key Note Online which can be found on the A-Z list of library databases via Portal.