Above Par Sponsorship Growth in 2006
Europe will lead the wider global double digit growth forecast by US Sponsorship experts IEG, who forecast that in 2006 sponsorship spending worldwide will rise at a rate of 11% from €25 billion in 2005. European forecasts are up at 13%, spurred by positive economic outlooks, major events including soccer World Cup 2006 in Germany, Rugby World Cup 2007 in France and preparations by European athletes for 2008 Olympic summer games in China.
According to John Trainor, Managing Director at Onside Sponsorship, “An array of forces will be at play in 2006 that are fuelling this anticipated extraordinary growth in the Irish sponsorship industry, including an increasing range of rights available to Irish brands to sponsor, escalating prices for rights and improvement on the part of rights owners in their approach to such partnerships. Properties like the Ryder Cup and potential naming rights of Lansdowne Road will also throw major fuel on what is already a hot tool in the marketing mix at present”.
Sport brings out The Best of 2005
Meanwhile, Alcohol, Banking, Retail and Telecoms sectors head Ireland’s premier sponsorship players in 2005 based on new research also announced today by Onside Sponsorship to uncover Ireland’s most appealing sponsorships of 2005. The Guinness portfolio emerged as the clear favourite among Irish consumers generally followed by Irish soccer sponsors eircom. Top appeal non-sports sponsorships of 2005 as voted by the public included Super-Valu’s Tidy Towns, Guinness Cork Jazz festival, and Tesco’s Computer for Schools.
Let The Battle Begin
Going forward, Trainor believes that sport must compete for the sponsor euro with other forms of content such as music, the arts and culture and cause-related marketing, each of which offers an increasingly compelling alternative. Music in particular is maturing rapidly as a sponsorship platform in Ireland as major brands like 02, Heineken, Budweiser and more recently Vodafone seek to build their brand value on this stage and growth in this area is likely to continue in 2006. The potential for future convergence between sport and other forms of entertainment related sponsorship including music and film will also be explored by smart marketers in the coming years.
While some of sports sponsorships biggest players, the beer, snack and fast food and soft drink companies, will continue to come under growing pressure from social and political pressure groups concerned about levels of obesity, binge drinking and anti social behaviour, the new Onside research would suggest that for consumers this is not a burning issue.
Dispelling to some degree such debate, Irish consumers have shown that they do not regard these as matters for concern at this point, and in fact in all instances displayed majority disagreement to suggestions that it is wrong for such sectors to sponsor sporting events. For example, just 12% agree strongly with the view that it is wrong for fast-food companies to sponsor sporting events while just 6% hold a similar view with regard to soft drinks companies.
Developments to Watch for in 2006
Categories of sponsorship likely to see most growth according to sponsorship experts Onside are broadcast and event sponsorship. Pointing to a wider trend in sponsorship globally, Trainor also notes the emphasis that many sponsors are placing on generating revenue – direct and indirect - through their relationships with properties. Rightsholders that are tuned-in to sponsorship will tap into this trend by positioning themselves as potential customers or gateways to customers.
Whole new categories of marketers will also join the sponsorship revolution from hoteliers and websites for services including online recruitment and gambling, to professional and healthcare services. Mobile and telecoms companies will also play an even greater part in the use of this tool as they climb the ranks of premier sponsors in 2006.
“Venue Naming Rights, valuation, ambush protection, new generation evaluation models and new ways to bring cause / community sponsorships to life while remaining authentic will all be areas that are front of mind for Irish sponsors as they head into 2006.”
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· In research cited in this article, Onside Sponsorship used a nationally representative sample of 500 adults aged 15+ across the Republic of Ireland in Qtr 4 2005.
· Onside Sponsorship is a leading specialist in sponsorship consulting and research services - With a proven track record and strong industry experience in a cross section of sectors, Onside is currently feeding into the sponsorship decision making of circa €30m+ of Irish sponsorship spend – working on many of Ireland’s premier sponsorships – on sporting, music, cause-related, broadcast and other platforms.
· Growth estimates are based by Onside Sponsorship on forecasts of % increase from 2005 forecasts set by Amárach Consulting.
- Overall spending by Irish companies is forecasted to grow by over 15% to almost €90m in 2006.
- In 2006 sponsorship spending worldwide is forecasted to rise at a rate of 11% from €25 billion in 2005, with Europe leading this growth at 13%.
- New research by Onside Sponsorship to uncover Ireland’s most appealing sponsorships of 2005 found that Alcohol, Banking, Retail and Telecoms sectors were premier sponsorship players in 2005.
- The Guinness portfolio emerged as the clear favourite among Irish consumers generally followed by Irish soccer sponsors eircom.
- The most appealing non-sports sponsorships of 2005 as voted by the public included Super-Valu’s Tidy Towns, Guinness Cork Jazz festival, and Tesco’s Computer for Schools.
- The New Onside research also shows that in all instances respondents displayed majority disagreement to suggestions that it is wrong for snack and fast food, soft drink and beer companies to sponsor sporting events.
- Categories of sponsorship likely to see most growth according to sponsorship experts Onside are broadcast and event sponsorship.