Your article on sports sponsorship (MW July 25) provided an interesting insight into this growing sector. However, many sports teams – particularly in football – handle sponsorship deals badly and sponsors are often left feeling they haven’t received value for money. Clubs are happy to simply plaster logos across a shirt, throw in a couple of hospitality boxes and cash the cheque. Is it any wonder that sport sponsorship deals rarely exceed two or three years, when many football clubs in this country fail even to brand their websites with their main sponsor’s logo?
The exploitation of sponsorship partnerships through public relations is led by the likes of Nike, Adidas and Umbro, but big budgets don’t always guarantee big exposure. Online bank Egg sponsors a team in the British Touring Car Championship, but ensures its money is backed up by an extensive public relations campaign in various sectors of the media, away from the sports pages.
The bottom line is value for money, and I do not think enough clubs in football, rugby and cricket offer it to their sponsors. Teams can no longer rely on finding sponsors just because it is prestigious to be associated with a big name in the sports world. Who wants to be associated with clubs, such as QPR or Bradford City, which struggle to stay in business? Sponsorships can also backfire when stars end up in court over drunkenness, drug abuse or violence.
Sponsorship fees will continue to increase, but sport should take a long hard look at itself and not take sponsors for granted.
Director of sports accounts
Le Fevre Communications