Optimism Over Sports Sector Recovery

This week we have been running through the headline figures from the ONSIDE COVID-19 Sports Impact Monitor.

In these strangest of days, it has become a touchstone on where we are as an industry and how we might begin to emerge from the grip of the virus and the measures to combat it.

Today we dive a little deeper into the area of how confident the Sport for Business community is about the path to recovery.

The time frame for ‘recovery’ was pitched not in terms of weeks or months but over the next one to two years and while there is a strong sense of optimism around how individual organisations will come through this, that begins to falter when it comes to the overall strength of the Irish economy and the Sponsorship industry.

87 per cent are quite or very optimistic about how they themselves will come through but that drops to only 36 per cent in terms of the Irish economy as a whole.

We have been here before in terms of the economic slump witnessed a decade ago and at that time sponsorship began an inexorable rise in terms of investment and value, with sport leading the way.

The growth of social media and online activation was at the centre of that and there will be other elements emerging from the time this pause has given us to think but if money is in tighter supply then sponsorship could be in for a longer period of recovery.

Nine per cent of us are very optimistic with a 49 per cent that are quite optimistic and those figures would likely be higher than they were at the time of the economic crash, which is a positive.

This first wave of research was undertaken by ONSIDE at the beginning of this month with Sport for Business and our membership.

We will make the full report available to all those who took part in it this Friday morning, April 17th.

If you are a Sport for Business Member and would like to be included in future waves of the Sport for Business ONSIDE Sports Impact Monitor, get in touch with us today.

We will be returning with a second wave in May, perhaps when some of the restrictions will have eased and when a clearer path to a return to action and engagement will be visible.


Below is an interview between John Trainor, CEO of Onside and Rob Hartnett of Sport for Business taking a look at the headline figures.

Our sense is that Ireland is ahead of the international market in terms of the likelihood of a return to action with July or August pinned as the most likely return dates here but a more distant horizon for a return to international competition.

In the interview, we touch on the degree of confidence that the industry, as represented by almost 100 organisations across sponsors, national governing bodies, agencies and other stakeholders, has in how we will bounce back, and at what the major concerns we have as a group.

It is an important piece of work which we are pleased to bring to our Members working alongside ONSIDE.

Check out our Live Webinar series Events coming up on Sport for Business

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