Sponsorship Growth to Slip in 2012

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Sponsorship marketing continues to be a key way for marketers to reach part of their target audience. Whether it’s covering the cost of uniforms for the local baseball team or partnering with the local symphony to print programs, sponsorships can be a great way for a marketer to show community support. Will this marketing sector grow in 2012?

Last year, marketers shelled out $18.11 billion for all types of sponsorships which was a 5.5% increase over the previous year. This spending level fell short of the 5.9% increase expected by industry watcher IEG. For 2012, IEG analysts are taking a more conservative stance and predict a 4.1% increase which would bring total spending to $18.87 billion.  IEG senior vice president Jim Andrews points out that “marketplace volatility will make 2012 a very interesting year for sponsorship—one likely to be full of contradictions.”

The sponsorship market is expected to increase more than the traditional advertising category which is pegged at 4.0% for the coming year. In addition, both sports and entertainment organizations will likely be successful in attracting marketing dollars. Analysts say sports properties should be able to bring in 4.6% more while entertainment (concert tours, theme parks, and branded entertainment partnerships) will gain a 4% increase in sponsorship. Marketers will be looking for “packages that bundle media exposure and offer activation platforms including retail, digital and on-site marketing.” The interest in sports will drive up this sector’s share of the sponsorship market from 68% last year to 69% this year.

Outside of the U.S., sponsors are expected to commit over $32 billion to highlight their support of their favorite teams and entertainers. This spending level is up 5.2% and reflective of more vibrant marketplaces.

In the U.S., part of marketer hesitation is linked to general economic conditions and the uncertainty that comes in an election year. Andrews notes that properties seeking sponsorship must position themselves as being helpful to the marketers they seek as partners and this year, the quest for funding may be competitive.

[Source: Economic Uncertainty to Slow Sponsorship Growth in 2012. Sponsorship​.com. 11 Jan. 2012. Web. 24 Jan. 2012]
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.