The decline in new sponsorship deals in the third quarter of 2020 is being felt less in sport than in other sectors.

In fact, the decline in sports deals, year-on-year in the quarter, at 19 per cent, is only half that being felt in the overall sector. The figures are included as part of Onside Sponsorship’s Quarterly Review.

The return of sporting action to screens and a greater level of participation from July onwards saw sport mount a quicker comeback than in the arts though the summer still proved challenging with a bounce-back starting from September.

The level of public visibility of sponsors came back 10 per cent in sport but only four per cent outside of sport over the period.

Winning Brands

Among the brands to benefit most were Vodafone and Bank of Ireland for their increased or restated commitment to rugby, and Supervalu and Lidl in the GAA and Ladies Gaelic Football arenas.

“Supermarkets’ further surge in sponsorship appeal in quarter 3 is symptomatic of a wider trend that looks here to stay”, according to Onside CEO John Trainor.

“SuperValu, Tesco, Aldi and Lidl retain the Top four positions for the second quarter in a row on the measure of sponsors seen by the Irish public to stand out specifically during the Covid-19 crisis by using sponsorship to help communities through the pandemic.”

“The National Lottery, An Post and the GAA also got singled out for special recognition by the Irish public in the latest wave.”

New Dawn

Looking ahead, Trainor believes “the coronavirus pandemic is instigating a new dawn for all sides of the sponsorship industry in Ireland and Europe.”

“The pandemic is driving a need to diversify revenues to plug gaps such as a potential drop in future sports broadcast fees.”

“On the global stage, you have emerging situations such as Wall Street bank JP Morgan in talks to provide €5 billion of debt financing to create a European Premier League featuring some of the continent’s biggest clubs in a project that would reshape global football.”

“In this wider shifting landscape of game-changing international masterplans, local rights holders in Ireland look set to change course at pace to new and improved business models around e-commerce, memberships, merchandising, streaming, subscriptions, and ticketing to stay in touch.”

Star Tracker

Onside has also published the latest results in its Star Tracker survey of the personalities most admired by the Irish public.

Katie Taylor retains her place at number one in the sports sector with Sam Bennett appearing in the Top 10 for the first time.

Outside of sport, Ryan Tubridy doubled the number that admired him most out of TV and Radio presenters to 500,000. Claire Byrne, Ian Dempsey and Matt Copper also came into the Top 10.

The ability of new faces to emerge in music and entertainment has been stunted by the lockdown explaining perhaps the reason why Daniel O’Donnell and Christy Moore retain their enduring appeal. Bono, Hozier and Dermot Kennedy make up the remainder of the Top 5.

The Onside / Sport for Business Sports Impact Monitor has provided a valuable thread of confidence and sentiment around the changing landscape. We will be coming back to our Members in January for the fourth wave of this research to determine levels of confidence going into 2021.

Sport for Business Partners