Pay in the sponsorship industry is reaching levels found elsewhere in the marketing and communications field, according to the European Sponsorship Consultants Association.
The first detailed salary survey conducted in the history of the 25-year-old industry shows packages are close to being on a par with the marketing and public relations disciplines. The sponsorship industry is thought to be worth £500m a year.
The average pay of a sponsorship account executive is £17,500 a year, that of an account manager £23,700, while an account director earns £34,100. A graduate trainee is likely to start on about £14,250. At the top of the tree, a senior figure, such as IMG European head Eric Drossard, is on a package worth about £500,000.
This year’s Marketing Week/Ball & Hoolahan salary survey shows the average wage is only slightly higher in marketing, where a product manager earns an average of £22,000, a group product manager £37,000 and a marketing manager £35,000. The average marketing director’s salary is £57,677.
However, some observers say that, because the sponsorship industry has only about 1,000 people working in it, these averages do not represent the true picture. Peter Lewinton, managing director of Universal Sports Marketing, says: “It is like quoting the average professional footballer’s salary. It does not mean much because a lot of them earn much less than that, and others make much more.”
Paul Vaughan, senior vice-president of consulting at Advantage, which, with 120 people, is one of the largest sponsorship agencies in the UK, comments: “The business is finding its feet now, so we have to pay pretty much in line with agencies and clients.”