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Sponsorship landscape during Covid-19 and the industry sectors that are spending in each elite European league

With Coronavirus officially being declared a global pandemic just over a year ago, the sponsorship landscape has been forced to continuously vary and adapt to the changing environment.

Multiple industries have taken financial hits this year and are not spending as much on marketing and sponsorship deals.

Some of the major industries across Europe include Digital Media Services, Financial Services, Food & Beverage, Automotive, Entertainment, and Travel & Tourism.

Due to restrictions set in place to fight the health pandemic, all these sectors have taken major financial knocks. Some companies in these industries may have to reconsider their current sponsorship deals when the time comes for renewal.

Despite the hardship of the past year, the Betting industry is still a big player in the sponsorship scene in major European Leagues with over 30 sponsorship deals in the Premier League (9 being Front of Shirt sponsors) and over 20 in the English Championship.

With online betting increasing in popularity, the betting industry is still going strong and although Betting companies are not allowed to be Front of Shirt sponsors in some other major European leagues, a vast number of clubs have Official Betting Partnership deals across Europe, making the betting industry one of the most influential industries even during Covid-19.

Airlines and Travel companies’ business has declined during the last year, however they remain high-flyers in the sponsorship area and do not show any signs of descending soon.

Even with the current pandemic grounding our usual holiday plans, Airlines and Travel companies are still extending existing sponsorship deals and sponsoring new clubs.

Recently AC Milan announced a 3-year extension with Fly Emirates, showing that even with the global decline of air travel these big airline companies are still willing to invest in sponsorship.

In more unfortunate news, Italian tyre manufacturer, Pirelli, will no longer be the Inter Milan shirt sponsor from the start of next season.

The company had been a sponsor for the last 16 years and this sponsorship had become iconic in the world of football. Pirelli chief executive Marco Tronchetti Provera has announced that the deal, which is believed to be around €18m a year for the space on the Serie A outfit's shirts, will not be renewed, though the "relationship with the club will continue".

It is believed that the pandemic may well be a key factor in this partnership ending.

A more positive note in the sponsorship landscape is the popularity of Official Hygiene Partnerships. The Football Association (The FA) has partnered with disinfectant brand Dettol, who will become the "Official Hygiene Partner" of the England men’s and women’s senior teams, Wembley Stadium connected by EE, the wider Grassroots game and St George’s Park.

With clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur adapting "Official Hand Sanitizer" suppliers, one could wonder if this sort of partnership will become more favoured in the near future and especially under the current circumstances.

Due to so many pre-existing sponsorships deals around Europe being multiyear deals and agreed on before Covid-19 arrived, it will be interesting to see which industry sectors continue to spend in Elite European football and what industries take a step back to recover from COVID-19.

liam@halpinsportsponsorship.com

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