Research shows fans expect sponsors to cut event prices

Sports and music fans are cynical about event sponsorship and think that sponsors should help to cut ticket prices, according to research by marketing consultancy Iris North.

The study found that 60 per cent of people questioned want sponsors to subsidise tickets. It also discovered that most fans in the highly exploited youth market cannot differentiate between sponsors and advertisers.

Iris North managing director and research author Tim Gardiner says: “The findings show sponsors need to focus on connecting with their target audience.

“Fans are quite cynical about sponsors and feel that they [the fans] should be benefiting more materially from the sponsors’ involvement.”

The research found that consumers pay little attention to sponsor messages on the day of an event. Almost 90 per cent were twice as receptive to branded messages before or after events.

Manchester United marketing director Peter Draper says marketers should concentrate on relevance when it comes to sponsorship.

“Our objective is always to have a dialogue with our fans,” he says. “We then work with our sponsors to help give our fans what they want based on our insights.”

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