2010 sponsorship decrease predicted in Irish sport
While sponsorship spend in Ireland has defied gravity in 2009, experiencing an estimated two per cent growth to €133 million across last year – 2010 will see this growth reversed, with an estimated 6 per cent dip expected in sponsorship in Ireland this year - according to a new industry study released from leading Dublin consultancy Onside Sponsorship.
This decline in Irish sponsorship spend is expected to be driven in large part by a reduction of fees paid for rights with 70 per cent of sponsors surveyed by Onside expecting rights fees to decrease this year.
2009 proved a relatively positive year for sponsorship in Ireland, with spend on sponsorship still showing a modest upward trend, albeit slowing from the double-digit growth of the boom. According to the Onside consultants new study last year's overall growth was fuelled by some major landmark deals including Aviva’s commitment to Irish Rugby and Soccer, Puma's new IRFU partnership, as well as a series of high-profile renewals.
John Trainor, managing director of Onside, commented: "The nature of sponsorship's multi-year deals, in most cases, certainly insulated this area from dramatic cutbacks, although large scale reductions in spend were more so evidenced on activation spend around sponsorships. Our research into the Irish sponsorship industry reveals that while one in two Irish sponsors will curtail their spend on sponsorship generally in 2010, one in five will be increasing their investment in this tool.
Through their sponsorship of both The O2 and The Irish Rugby Team, O2 was viewed by the industry as the best in class sponsor of 2009. Meanwhile the Guinness partnership with the GAA All-Ireland Hurling Championships was singled out by the industry survey as the Best Sponsorship of the Past Decade.
With the 02 now firmly established in the Irish market and with the opening of the new Aviva Stadium in 2010, the Onside research also reveals that the Irish sponsorship industry is overwhelmingly in favour of naming rights to music venues and sports venues – with support of Naming Rights to a Music/Entertainment Venue up six per cent to 95 per cent, while those behind a Sports Venue naming deal has increased five per cent to 83 per cent.
Trainor said: "In terms of what sponsors are aiming to achieve with sponsorship, four in 10 sponsors outline stimulating sales/ trial/ usage now as their most important objective. This movement to using sponsorship beyond pure brand affinity building is a trend that has deepened significantly over the past year."
In terms of the prospect of a rebound in spend on sponsorship beyond a 2010 blip, Trainor notes that "on a longer term basis it is too early to call. Major sponsor categories like auto brands, banks and other sectors are still at the planning stages of recovery. New money will come in from some companies ready to fill the void while these established sponsor sectors get back on their feet. Rugby World Cup 2011, The Solheim Cup in Ireland and the new cycle of GAA Football Championships deals will be just some of the prospects for a possible return to slow growth in the industry beyond the down year ahead."blog comments powered by Disqus
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