Sports sponsorship is a global business worth an estimated $60 billion in 2021. Each week we bring the Sport for Bussiness network a look at some of the biggest deals and trends that are continually reshaping the ways in which sport and commercial partners interact.

Today we highlight two new deals for the Rugby World Cup, another major partnership for the European Tour, a therapy deal in tennis and the concept of sponsorship naming rights as a tradable investment…






French insurance company GMF has signed up as a Tier 2 partner of the 2023 Rugby World Cup to be held in France.

The company is an official sponsor and the official insurer of the event, which will take place from September 8 to October 28 in 2023.

As part of the new agreement, the company will be providing the medical services programme at each of the 48 matches of the competition.

GMF is already a sponsor of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), the French national team and the National Rugby League (LNR), and was a sponsor of the World Cup the last time it was held in France in 2007.It is primarily to the fore in France as the main insurer of public service workers.

The second tier of Rugby World Cup 2023 sponsors was bought by the local organisers at a cost of €35 million, allowing them to retain all the value of deals strucl.

It is the first time this has been implemented and in a market as big as France was always likely to be a winner. GMF’s involvement brings the reported value of deals done to around €60 million.

In previous tournaments, the only revenue the host nation would retain was on ticket sales.

GL Events, Loxam, Orange, Proman, SNCF Total Energies, Vivendi and now GMF are the partners signed up already.






Land Rover has joined Mastercard, Asahi, CapGemini and Societe Generale as a Worldwide Partner of the Rugby World Cup for 2023

Reflecting the joint commitment of Land Rover and World Rugby to a more sustainable future, the Rugby World Cup 2023 mascots will be known as ‘Land Rover Defenders of Tomorrow’ and will form a key element of the global Land Rover campaign. They will be selected for their ‘passion and commitment to changing their world for the better’.

Arthur was selected through Land Rover France’s long-term partnership with France’s Top 14 competition. He plays rugby for Racing club Asnières (sur Seine) near Paris.

Arthur said: “I am really excited to be the first Land Rover Defender of Tomorrow. I can’t wait for the Rugby World Cup 2023 to be in France, and to tell all of my friends at my rugby club that I am going to be on the pitch!”

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Land Rover is a true partner of rugby at all levels, and we are delighted to be extending our worldwide partnership for Rugby World Cup 2023 in France. As a tournament and a rugby family, we are committed to making a positive impact in France and more widely for our planet for future generations to enjoy.

“Our worldwide partnerships with Land Rover have always been purpose-driven. In Japan their active support of the Impact Beyond programme saw 10,000 children introduced to the sport. We are excited to share the same vision and commitment for France 2023 and look forward to working together to drive change for the future.”





What was the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, home to the LA Lakers, will, from January 1st and for a period of 20 years, be known as the Arena.

The cost of the deal is understood to be in the region of $700 million setting a new record for a stadium deal.

Stadium owner AEG bought back the rights from Staples in 2019. The office supply chain had originally paid $116 million for a twenty-year deal on the stadium opening in 1999, before extending ‘indefinitely’ halfway through that deal.

The concept of treating a sponsorship like a work of art that can appreciate in actual value as well as giving brand benefits is surely something that would please most financial directors.






The European Tour today announced a multi-year partnership from the 2022 season onwards with Fortinet, a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions. As an Official Tour Partner and Official Cybersecurity Partner, Fortinet will provide its expertise and innovative security solutions to support the Tour’s digital innovation journey.

The European Tour hosts one of the largest and most complex “Bring Your Own Device” environments in the sports industry, with up to 25,000 fans, media and key stakeholders attending tournaments each day on its flagship European Tour – which becomes the DP World Tour next season – spread across a 47-tournament season in 27 countries. The Fortinet Security Fabric – which offers a broad set of automated, integrated solutions supported by advanced threat intelligence and AI-enabled security services – will enable the European Tour to enhance its security analytics, reporting and response capabilities at its various tournaments, as well as implement a zero-trust security approach.

The European Tour also operates a hybrid cloud environment for its office and tournament-based services around the globe. By partnering with Fortinet, the Tour will benefit from Fortinet’s adaptive cloud security solutions to bring advanced security, broad visibility and control across the Tour’s cloud infrastructures and increase the speed of its operations.

Speaking about the new partnership Michael Cole, Chief Technology Officer at The European Tour, said; “In recent years we have pioneered the Tournament-As-A-Service concept, which packages intelligent and connected golf course systems into a cloud-based “smart city” solution that can be rolled out at any tournament. As we continue to bring this concept to life, Fortinet’s platform approach, through its Security Fabric offering, will further enhance the management, monitoring and agility of this complex operation and make sure we give our various stakeholders – whether that be fans, media, partners or players – an exceptional and secure experience.”

John Maddison, EVP of Products and CMO at Fortinet said; “The European Tour delivers an amazing experience – in equal measure for their fans and world-class golfers. As the European Tour’s Official Cybersecurity Partner, our company will bring its deep expertise in cybersecurity innovation to the world of golf. We are thrilled to be working together with the European Tour to accelerate its digital innovation journey thanks to the Fortinet Security Fabric, enabling broad visibility, seamless integration and granular control and automation.”

Max Hamilton, Commercial Director at the European Tour, added; “Following the ongoing and extensive transformation of the European Tour’s technological landscape, we have been keen to find a new partner that will help protect our investments and keep us at the forefront of technology in sport. Technology plays such an integral role in modern golf and Fortinet’s innovation and expertise will enhance our ability to successfully deliver a secure experience. It’s a true partnership in every sense of the word and further demonstrates our excellent commercial momentum.”






Therabody, a global pioneer in wellness technology and creator of Theragun, has become the the Official Recovery Partner of the ATP Tour, helping support player health and wellbeing throughout the season.

The partnership will take Therabody across the ATP Tour, as ATP physiotherapists incorporate the company’s products into their efforts to help players warm up, recover, and manage soreness at events.

Therabody’s innovative recovery products include Theragun, the world’s first handheld percussive massage therapy device, RecoveryAir pneumatic compression system, PowerDot electrical stimulation and Wave vibrating rollers, which are currently trusted by more than 250 professional athletes, sports teams, celebrities, elite trainers and medical practitioners globally.

The Theragun provides percussive therapy with the push of a button. It delivers a targeted deep muscle treatment to melt away tension, soreness and stress in seconds, while the RecoveryAir pneumatic compression system helps cut down on recovery by hours by simply slipping on boots.





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