Top 5 Sponsorship Predictions For 2019
7th January, 2019
As a new year begins, it’s not only a time to reflect on what has come before, but a time to look forward. So, Slingshot sat down and brainstormed what we think will be the biggest trends in sponsorship for 2019. Without further or do, here are our predictions.
Content is Still? King:
It might sound like nothing new here, as content has been a pinnacle focus for years now, but without leveraging partnerships with content, organisations run the risk of missing key audience engagement. We predict that content-centric partnerships will become more prevalent: partnerships which actively revolve around the shared creation of content for mutual use. Social platforms have invented multiple great ways for brands to capitalise through sponsored content and this is ever evolving, with Instagram’s new swipe up function, IGTV and direct purchasing through the app. There is truly no end to content leveragability when it comes to sponsorship.
2018 was another incredible year for eSports, with battle royale games such as Fortnite, PUBG and Black Ops 4 seemingly bringing eSports from the fringes into the homes of the many. With 2019 global eSports revenues set to reach a milestone $1 billion and expected viewership to rise by another 100 million, 2019 is shaping up to be even bigger than 2018. What does that mean for sponsorship? eSports is by no means saturated and non-endemic brands have yet to really take the bait. If we remove energy drinks and the odd fast-food chain from the equation, very few sponsors are from outside the gaming industry. Hence, with a millennial demographic and constantly rising viewing figures Slingshot sees huge potential for more brands to partner with eSports organisations.
Technology is an ever-evolving space, with new applications, services and products almost sprouting out of thin air! With the expansion of the tech space comes a need for brands to stand out amongst the crowd or drown in the sea of competitors. Thus, we expect more tech brands to enter the sponsorship industry. Some of the brands currently leveraging the partnerships the best are GoPro, Samsung and OWC.
A new trend that is emerging out of the tech market is AR/VR activations in the home of the viewer. AR and VR have been a useful activation tool at sporting events for the last few years, but what has begun to emerge is its use as a fan engagement tool in their homes. Take RedBull’s 360 Degree course preview and live VR camera at 2018’s RedBull Rampage event, this revolutionary tech saw fans being able to ‘walk’ the track from their phone screen and allowed access to camera angles exclusive to the live broadcast via the app.
2018 Brought a surge of sports betting properties to the English Premier League and Championship alike, and with that surge came a rise in concern for consumer health and gambling addiction. As such there had been calls on the FA and Parliament to put restrictions on sponsorship from sport betting companies. Thus, we feel that betting sponsorships will likely slow on our side of the Atlantic. However, we expect that across the pond, the reverse is the case. Numerous law changes made 2018. the first year betting organisations could sponsor leagues and teams with the NHL and MLB making the most headway in this space. Time will tell if the NFL will receive its own exclusive betting partner in 2019 (our gamble is that it will) as many teams within the league have set up their own gambling partnerships.
Numerous studies suggest that CSR partnerships boost employee satisfaction and have a positive effect on brand perception, and this year we expect brands to buy into this more than ever. More specifically Slingshot suggests that more brands will migrate from sports properties across to CSR led partnerships. This is inevitable due to the purchase intentions and priorities of the millennial demographic who are seeking brands that care. One of 2018’s biggest shocks was Sky announcing that they will be pulling their sponsorship of Team Sky in 2019. Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch stated “the end of 2019 is the right time for us to move on as we open a new chapter in Sky’s story and turn our focus to different initiatives including our Sky Ocean Rescue campaign.”
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