Winning: 70% of American Sponsorship is in Sports

Still think there is a sports business bubble? Think again! Sports is dominating the North American sponsorship market.  Between 2013 and 2015, sports has dominated the sponsorship space, making up around 70% of the total sponsorship spend in 2015.  The next closest component of sponsorships is entertainment with a mere 10% of the market.

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Why do brands want to reach people so badly through sports?  

For one, sports drives an insane amount of loyalty to their teams, and brands associating themselves with those teams ties into this deep emotional connection.  Studies have shown that fans are more likely to give their business to brands that support their team.

Furthermore, sports provides a plethora of ways to showcase a brand.  Partners can choose to activate a sponsorship in a team’s venue, on television, on social media and web, or on a team’s mobile app.  The innumerable touch points sports fans have with their team gives sponsors an array of options brands have to reach potential customers. No other industry offers such multi-channel, consistent engagement from consumers.

Sports teams and organizations should be jumping at these opportunities and aggressively pursuing them.  Furthermore, teams should be exploring new and innovative ways to increase their sponsorship inventory because it’s clear that brands are heavily investing in sports sponsorship.

So how can you get a chunk of that $15 billion of sponsorship money going to sports in 2015? Look for brands currently activating (or seeking to) in the sports space and identify all those opportunities to activate a brand with your engaged fans. While we rely on the gate and (especially in major pro sports) the media rights, sponsorship is an increasingly bigger piece of the sports business pie.

The data doesn’t lie. Brands WILL find a way to get into sports sponsorship. Don’t get caught napping in the on-deck circle, step up to the plate and take some hacks. The stats show you’re likely to at least make contact, if not hit a few home runs.

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