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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Sponsorships and Sports Marketing – US market including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

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What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

Sports attract consumers across demographics and are a prime avenue for brands and retailers across categories to connect with large audiences. COVID-19’s abrupt pause on sports caused a major disruption across leagues, resulting in lost revenue and unfulfilled sponsorship deals. However, as sports have now resumed, leagues and brands will look to recoup lost revenue and capitalize on the increased excitement from fans. Moving forward, across all levels of sports, sponsorships and marketing efforts will be more prominent than ever before.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Colin O’Brien, a leading analyst in the Leisure sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Sports are a powerful unifying force, bringing together people from all across the country to feel part of the same community with a common goal. While COVID-19 may have abruptly paused sports across the country, sports have resumed with full enthusiasm from both fans and brands alike, bringing along with it new ways for teams and brands to connect with fans.
Colin O’Brien

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
          • COVID-19: Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Impact of COVID-19 on sponsorships and sports marketing
                  • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on sponsorships and sports marketing, September 2020
                • Opportunities and Challenges
                  • New approaches to recoup lost revenue and ROI for leagues, teams and brands
                    • Brands look to opt-out of sponsorship deals
                      • Evolve the fan experience
                        • Bet on sports betting
                          • Show support for ethical and social causes
                          • The Market – Key Takeaways

                            • Enthusiasm for sports runs deep for both fans and advertisers
                              • Future of sponsorships is greater integrations
                                • Fanless stadiums present new advertising opportunities
                                  • Brands will be more cost-conscious with sponsorship deals
                                  • Impact of COVID-19 on Sponsorships and Sports Marketing

                                        • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on sponsorships and sports marketing, September 2020
                                      • Lockdown
                                        • Re-emergence
                                          • Recovery
                                            • COVID-19: Market context
                                            • Market Factors

                                              • Learnings from the last recession
                                                • COVID-19 causes consumers to cut back on sports spending
                                                  • The “stick to sports” era is over
                                                    • Figure 3: Osaka on social justice in sports
                                                  • Sports turn to technology to connect with fans during the pandemic
                                                    • Increased sports betting legalization opens the door for new sponsorship opportunities
                                                      • Amazon pioneers environmentally focused arena and sponsorship
                                                        • Figure 4: Climate Pledge Arena
                                                    • Market Opportunities

                                                      • Enthusiasm for sports runs deep for both fans and advertisers
                                                        • Fanless stadiums present new advertising opportunities
                                                          • Figure 5: New tarp and virtual advertising
                                                        • Future of sponsorships is greater integrations
                                                          • Figure 6: Bud Light digital MSG integration
                                                        • Embrace the global approach of jersey sponsorships
                                                        • Competitive Strategies

                                                          • Bodyarmor goes all-in on athlete endorsements
                                                            • AB takes a scaled-back, more selective approach
                                                              • Hyperice spreads recovery across sports
                                                              • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                                • Sports fandom is widespread and passionate
                                                                  • Social media is more important than ever for fans, teams and brands
                                                                    • Fans still notice commercials, but creativity is a necessity
                                                                      • Connecting with fans in the next normal
                                                                        • Social justice measures have risen across sports
                                                                        • Consumer Trends Impacting Sponsorships and Sports Marketing

                                                                            • Surroundings
                                                                              • Rights
                                                                                • Identity
                                                                                  • Technology
                                                                                    • Experiences
                                                                                    • Exploring Sports Fans

                                                                                      • Sports fandom is pervasive and passionate
                                                                                        • Figure 7: Sports fandom and passion, July 2020
                                                                                        • Figure 8: Sports fandom, by number of sports regularly followed, July 2020
                                                                                      • Marketing to the female sports fan
                                                                                        • Figure 9: Sports fandom, by gender, July 2020
                                                                                        • Figure 10: Sports fandom, by gender, by number of sports regularly followed, July 2020
                                                                                        • Figure 11: Showcasing women in sports marketing
                                                                                      • Sports are for all ages and income levels, but some sports have more appeal than others
                                                                                        • Figure 12: Sports fandom, by generation, July 2020
                                                                                        • Figure 13: Sports fandom, by household income, July 2020
                                                                                        • Figure 14: Goldman Sachs golf endorsement
                                                                                      • Sports foster connections with personal heritage and identity
                                                                                        • Figure 15: Sports fandom, by race and Hispanic origin, July 2020
                                                                                        • Figure 16: Japanese-specific Washington Wizards Twitter account
                                                                                      • The secret to growing sports fandom begins at the youth level
                                                                                        • Figure 17: Reasons for not following sports, July 2020
                                                                                        • Figure 18: Youth-focused sports initiatives
                                                                                    • Following the Action on the Field

                                                                                      • Life stage impacts the technology of choice for sports fandom
                                                                                        • Figure 19: Methods of following sports, by generation, July 2020
                                                                                      • Sports remains the stalwart of TV viewership
                                                                                        • Social media is more important than ever for fans, teams and brands
                                                                                          • Figure 20: Sponsored posts on social media
                                                                                          • Figure 21: Reasons for following sports on social media, July 2020
                                                                                      • Marketing to Create a Lasting Impact

                                                                                        • Breaking through to sports fans
                                                                                          • Figure 22: Sports marketing, July 2020
                                                                                          • Figure 23: State Farm natural commercial integration in The Last Dance
                                                                                          • Figure 24: Rocket Mortgage Super Bowl Squares
                                                                                        • Jersey sponsorship is memorable and on the rise
                                                                                        • Fostering the Fan Connection in the Next Normal

                                                                                          • Bringing the game experience home
                                                                                            • Figure 25: New York Yankees, T-Mobile “Reppin’ from Home” partnership
                                                                                            • Figure 26: Michelob Ultra courtside virtual fans
                                                                                          • Showcasing passion for team and city through merchandise
                                                                                            • Figure 27: Chicago-inspired NBA All-Star uniforms
                                                                                          • Supporting the greater good through sports
                                                                                            • Figure 28: Nimble charitable initiatives from brands
                                                                                            • Figure 29: Chicago Blackhawks assist the difficult 2020 school year
                                                                                          • Taking a stance on social justice; the summer of 2020 inspired a new wave of social justice protests in sports
                                                                                            • Figure 30: Baltimore Ravens actionable calls for social justice change
                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                                                              • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                  • Appendix – Consumer Data

                                                                                                      • Figure 31: TV and entertainment subscriptions, by household income, July 2020
                                                                                                      • Figure 32: TV and entertainment subscriptions, by generation, July 2020
                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Sports social media platform usage, July 2020

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