Sport needs to consider the long term

The debate generated by the RSL research on the value of sponsorship, your editorial coverage and subsequent letters all raise key questions for commercial sponsors of sport.

The Institute of Sports Sponsorship represents the leading sponsors of sport in Britain, who remain convinced of its value. But that value exists only when the cost is commensurate with the return. The industry is currently giving clearer signals that this relationship is getting out of balance.

The temptation for sport to sell rights to the highest bidder is understandable, and the determination of Rupert Murdoch to use sport as a “battering ram” to gain subscribers is undoubtedly shrewd.

The only counsel the ISS can give to sport is to remind it that the battering ram was always a short-term device: effective but with a propensity to leave a lot of damage in its wake.

Many sponsors have developed long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with sport. They have exchanged people and skills, as well as provided money, to create events and activities that are valued by the sport spectators and the consumers of the sponsor’s product.

If this relationship is broken sponsors will invest in alternative means of marketing communication of which, sport should be reminded, there are many.

Come the time when the battering ram has done its job, sport may find itself in the unfortunate position of surveying the rubble and finding no-one to pay for the rebuilding.

Mike Scott


The Institute of Sports Sponsorship

London SW1

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here