Sponsorship has undergone a seismic shift in communications and it seems that everyone is finally catching up. This means great things for our industry – realising that sponsorship is more than a logo opens up a whole world of opportunity for industry growth this year.
Every January I like to start the year off with a handful of predictions for what I think will be in store and this year is no different. To gauge my predictive power, you can read last year’s sponsorship predictions here.
- Sponsorship spend will continue to surpass advertising spend. Forecasts by GroupM project ad spending to increase by 3.8% while sponsorship spend is set to increase by 4.1%.
- People will continue to talk about engagement, but not truly deliver it. Attend a sponsorship conference and you are likely to hear ‘engagement’ being the key point of discussion; however, the activation strategies continue to remain the same. Just because you call something engaging, doesn’t mean it actually is.
- Growth in non-sport sponsorship markets. At Slingshot we have seen a new appetite for commercial innovation among governments and venues. This is quite exciting when compared to basic naming rights deals – allowing significant creative impact to make a real difference. We think this is the year that naming rights will take on an entirely new meaning.
- Online will become more prominent with spend complimenting onsite sponsorship activation. Online sponsorship is becoming more robust and clients have become more educated on how this drives brand ROI. Slingshot have recently partnered with technology ticketing firm Billetto to be the first to introduce this concept across thousands of events in the UK and Europe – read more here.
- Brands take on the challenge of becoming rights holders. Personally, I find this quite exciting – brands revolutionising the space, creating events themselves, and securing brand sponsorship to fund their actvity. Initially launched with Vodafone Firsts many years ago, the concept is becoming mainstream and even smaller brands are understanding that if commercialised correctly, this is a cost neutral way to radically build your brand.
We wish you a successful 2016 and be sure to watch out for Slingshot – it’s going to be a big year for us