The article “Premiership TV rights deal may threaten Carling sponsorship” (MW March 9) suggests that a new &£1bn-plus TV agreement with the FA Premier League could threaten Carling’s existing title sponsorship.
For many years now – and particularly since TV rights fees increased from a derisory level to having a big impact on a governing body’s balance sheet – there has been speculation about sponsorship’s position and value. The UK market is unlikely to experience the situation in the US, where no visible branding exists for sponsors at the major sporting events. Sponsorship, apart from the contractual implications, is now too well-established, too well-used and too well-liked by governing bodies for it to be banished.
Within football in particular, there is an extensive number of sponsorship agreements in place, some of which involve substantial amounts of money and many which have at least four or five years to run.
Governing bodies, and included in this category are the Premier League chairmen, know they need to keep control of broadcasters and cannot allow themselves to be completely bought out by any single party. They also have a duty to their sport and their clubs to protect their long-term interests, and to be aware of the implications of allowing broadcasters to control a sport.
Sponsorship will continue to play a huge role in providing outstanding and original marketing opportunities for brands and companies. In addition, the activity that sponsors create away from the playing arena raises the sport’s profile, takes the sport to an even wider market, and is welcomed by that all important group – the fans.
European Sponsorship Consultants Association