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.

eSports:

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:

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.

Betting:

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.

CSR:

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.”

If you are looking for advice on any aspect of the sponsorship industry, we would be more than happy to offer our expertise, please email info@slingshotsponsorship.com or call 0207 145 0150 to get started.

Top 3 Sponsorship Predictions 2012 9th January, 2012

Following the mulled wine and too many Quality Street sweets over the Christmas period, I thought it would be important to kick start the year with some predictions on the sponsorship industry for 2012.  With so many new things happening this year, it may prove to be a unsettled year for many organisations and difficult for anyone to predict much; however, here are my top 3 predictions:

1.  The Olympic Predicament

To sponsor or not to sponsor events during the London Olympic Games period – that is the question on everyone’s mind.  Although most of the big brands have taken one road or the other, many brands still have not yet decided how to take advantage of the opportunity of millions of people descending upon London providing a fantastic opportunity to reach a global community locally.

The nervousness lies in history as well as legalities.

With many brands having never been involved with initiating marketing campaigns during the Olympics, it can be almost impossible to decide whether sponsoring events or even increasing marketing during the London Olympic Games will pay off or if you will just get lost in the brand mass.

Although I can’t predict whether or not every brand should go for it as it will always be brand dependent and also dependent on the activation and platform you will be pushing your marketing through – I can say that the London Olympics is providing an opportunity that won’t be coming around again in the near future and if you are able to take advantage, then you should get on board.  However, I’d recommend deciding how you’ll participate sooner rather than later in order to make the most out of your sponsorship and marketing campaigns during this period.

2.  Brands are Working Together

I mentioned this in last year’s prediction post, but it still rings true today.  More and more, brands are working together and creating synergy of resource.  Most often this is because it is cheaper, but more importantly brand partnerships achieve more together than they can apart.  This is a huge benefit of sponsorship, but you can also achieve the same benefits through in-kind partnerships and joint strategies – for example, getting a Print Partner or a Media Partner on board with your event.

Furthermore, more agencies will be looking to work together rather than treating each other as competitors.  We’ve even gone done this route recently teaming up with Brand Innovation Agency BITE in order to provide their Scandinavian-based clients with sponsorship services and our clients with branding services – benefiting both sets of clients!

3.  The Sponsorship Market will be Cluttered!

With a significant number of public funding organisations losing their funding this year, I anticipate there will be an influx of sponsorship proposals being sent out to brands.  This means a number of things for rights owners, but mainly:

  1. Rights owners will have a harder time selling sponsorship.
  2. Great proposals and pitches will differentiate the competition rather than platforms due to lack of resource.

And for interest, you can also read my 2011 Predications Blog and find out whether I was right.

Good luck with 2012 – regardless of whether my predications are right, I can bet it will be a very interesting year for everyone.  And of course, don’t forget to sign up to the Slingshot Sponsorship Blog in order to track my predication progress!