Sports to Dominate Sponsorship Marketing in 2013

One good way to stand apart from the crowd in the always-​on advertising world is to allocate marketing dollars to footballgamesponsorships. U.S. businesses are planning to spend more on sponsorships this year, betting that consumers will notice them as they enjoy watching their favorite team compete or take in the local music festival. But, experts warn that sponsorship marketing is undergoing big changes at most enterprises.

By the end of 2013, U.S. marketers will have spent  $19.9 billion on sponsorship marketing. This spending level is 5.5% higher than last year. The global spending increase will be slightly lower with a 4.2% increase on track to bring spending to $53.3 billion. The analysts at IEG point out the expected U.S. growth rate for sponsorship marketing will exceed that planned for advertising (2.6%) and sales promotion (3.0%).

But marketers are choosing their sponsorship targets carefully. Sports properties stand to benefit from the largest percentage increase in sponsorship marketing. These properties also have the biggest piece of the sponsorship marketing pie. Here’s how major sponsorship spending will likely break out this year

  • Sports $13.79 billion
  • Entertainment $2.03 billion
  • Causes $1.78 billion
  • Arts $920 million
  • Festivals/​fairs/​annual events $849 million
  • Associations/​membership organizations $572 million

Analysts point out that in the era of big data, the sponsorship department is no longer independent. As big marketers take a top-​down look at all advertising and promotional funds and efforts, sponsorship will increasingly be part of ‘mainstream marketing conversations’. This is also an era where ROI calculations get plenty of attention and partners must prove to marketers that they are delivering an audience. Because of this trend, analysts believe that large marketers are more likely to sign deals with properties that have national scale. With more money being spent on sponsorships, analysts say that marketers can get creative about proposing programs in order to keep the costs of exclusivity down.

[Source: IEG Sponsorship Report 2013. 7 Jan. 2013. Web. 14 Jan. 2013]


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.