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This Key Note Market Report Update revisits the sports sponsorship market following the publication of the previous 2011 edition. It analyses current trends affecting the market and assesses the size of the market in terms of both value and volume. Sports sponsorship can be defined as the funding of sporting activities by commercial organisations as part of their communications strategies, which often include public relations (PR), advertising and marketing activities.
The market for sports sponsorship experienced substantial value growth in 2009, with figures rising by 40%, following a rise in the number of Olympics sponsorship deals transacted. Since then, however, market value has continued to decline, with decreases of 10.1% and 36.5% registered in 2010 and 2011, respectively. While this decline may in part be down to the economic difficulties that have continued to affect the UK in recent years, with a number of businesses reducing their marketing budgets (including sponsorship deals), it is likely that the one-off sponsorship deals signed in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games has skewed market statistics for the UK, resulting in an anomalous downwards trend. This is further highlighted by the overall upwards trend currently apparent within the wider global market for sports sponsorship.
Football has remained the most lucrative area of sport in terms of sponsorship deals, although the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games helped to attract significant commercial interest in the athletics sector over the past few years. Other recent sporting successes in golf and cricket have also helped to boost sports sponsorship expenditure, with individual sports remaining important areas of growth in recent years.
Key Note expects the market to return to growth in 2012, with London’s hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games during this year likely to further attract a range of sponsorship deals. Team GB’s successes during the Games — which saw it come in third in terms of medal wins — is also likely to encourage sponsorship of athletics in the forthcoming years. This will be boosted in particular by the popularity of British athletes, such as Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah. Other sporting events due to be held in the UK should also help to encourage investment in the market in the future, such as the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, which will be hosted by England, Wales, France and the Republic of Ireland; the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which will be hosted by Glasgow; the golfing tournament, the Ryder Cup, during the same year; and the Rugby Union World Cup, which will be hosted by England in 2015. These events are expected to attract significant commercial interest in UK sports over the forecast period and, as a result, Key Note estimates that the sports sponsorship market will grow by 36.5% in value terms between 2012 and 2016.
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