Recession leads to more questions about sponsorship

The sponsorship industry is coping well in the recession but the economic climate has forced both rights holders and brands to assess how they develop packages and activation programs, according to sponsorship experts.

Carlton Cole, West Ham
Carlton Cole, West Ham

In a panel session on sponsorship in the current economic climate at the Marketing Week Sponsorship Summit today (24 September), both sponsors and rights holders agreed the economic downturn had focussed the minds of those involved in the maturing sector.

Karen Earl chairman of the European Sponsorship Association, says more questions are being asked about value, with sponsors generally “getting wiser and more adept about the rights that they want for their business”, while rights holders will also have to look carefully at what they offer potential sponsors.

She advised any rights holder struggling to find a sponsor to consider accepting less money in return for a partnership with a brand with a large marketing budget.

Ian Tompkins head of corporate affairs at Premier League football club West Ham United, says although football can offer a “tremendous platform” to brands some clubs have been “complacent” in developing partnerships.

Jeremy Corenbloom sponsorship manager at T-Mobile says the mobile phone company has looked to increase the flexibility in its sponsorship arrangements in order to “reduce wastage and keep the rest of the business behind us”.

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