What Fans Think of Sponsors

Research conducted in the UK by Ticketmaster has revealed that the majority of sports fans are comfortable with and would recommend sponsors involved in their sport.

They also reveal a pecking order of how they feel sponsors should engage with fans, with free tickets coming out as the number one engagement tool.

The survey was conducted among over 12,000 respondents drawn from a nationally representative sample and then boosted to provide insight from specific fans of football, rugby and cricket.

There were seven options for people to choose from in terms of what they felt would interest them most from sponsors.

Free tickets came out as number one ahead of discounted tickets and free merchandise.

Down the line competitions to win prizes were seen as more popular than competitions to meet players. Perhaps surprisingly given the weight attached to it in activation across most of the major sponsorships, the creation of exclusive behind the scenes content and engaging content on social media were seen by fans as the least popular forms of engagement.

Fans were also asked their views on the suitability of different sectors for sponsorship within sport.

Perhaps the one that is most in the spotlight in the UK is that of gambling, with such a high prevalence within football in particular. This finished in last place across all demographics other than men between the ages of 45 and 54 who placed it fourth.

The most popular or suitable kind of sponsorship was seen as coming from clothing brands such as Adidas or Nike, Travel brands including the major airlines, and entertainment brands.

There was a difference for younger women who rated food retail and food or drink brands as second and third behind clothing.

When it came to comfort levels with sponsorship as part of the sporting experience, a majority across all sports said that they felt comfortable with sponsorship and at least 35 per cent said that they would have a greater propensity to buy product from a sponsor of a favourite team.


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