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