06Nov2020

Pressure on sponsorships deals across Europe keeps growing due to COVID-19

New solutions for sponsorship deals on the rise as the COVID-19 pandemic is still roaming around

Several European competitions are obligated to play matches behind closed doors again. Subsequently, the pressure on sponsorships continues to rise for European clubs. Being an observatory in the stadium-industry, ESSMA reached out to find out how the clubs are handling this situation and what solutions are found.

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Sponsors understand the current situation, nevertheless 85% of sponsors request alternative exposure

14 clubs disclosed their current situation and learned us that 85% of those clubs received requests from sponsors to replace the ‘regular’ sponsor visibility. Online visibility (86%) and additional branding in the stadium (75%) is in demand for sponsors.


New sponsor initiatives in stadiums

71% of clubs actually implemented new initiatives for sponsors during matches behind closed doors. Some examples:

  • Additional LED Boarding
  • More time on LED boards for sponsors
  • Sponsor banners in empty stands
  • Extra 3D carpets
  • Out-of-stadium events with sponsor involvement (title sponsor of small event or webinar)
  • Exclusive (small) events for sponsors
  • Stadium facilities made available for sponsors

Online initiatives are being explored and implemented:

We notice initiatives like:

  • Interaction between sponsors and players/coaches (online videos)
  • Social Media campaigns for sponsors
  • Webinars with partner involvement
  • Information about partners in e-mails newsletters
  • Exclusive (club-)content only available on partner website
  • Virtual kick-off of online match coverage provided by sponsor

Despite efforts, sponsorship budgets decrease

Despite the efforts of clubs, 85% lost one or more sponsors due to COVID-19. On average, the sponsor budget declines with 11% due to the loss of sponsors. Only 33% managed to replace these sponsors.

One ray of light in our investigation: 72% of brands are eager to extend sponsorship deals despite COVID-19

Want to know more on the topic? Read all about it in our case-study.


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