The Benefits of Sponsorships in Sport

By Raghu
5 Min Read
Source: pexels

The sporting world is exciting, fast-paced, and captivating, so it’s little wonder that brands are interested in tapping into that world. After all, all companies would like to be associated with the raw explosion of joy that accompanies a last-minute winner in the Champions League final. Of course, not all sports sponsorships exist at the very top of the sporting world. Still, even lower-level sponsorships can have a big impact, for the brand, sports organisations, and fans. It’s one of those things that has advantages for everyone involved. On this page, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits, which will help to explain why you see so many sponsorships at live sporting events. 

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It Helps Individual Athletes

Some sports stars get paid huge sums of money via their teams. But that’s not the reality for many athletes, who in many cases don’t have a “team” that will pay them a salary. For example, tennis players get paid depending on how well they perform at tournaments. If they crash out in the first round or have an injury that prevents them from competing, then they won’t get paid. Athlete sponsorships can help to ensure that individual athletes have a baseline of income regardless of performance, allowing them to focus on improving their sporting prowess. Of course, at the other end of the scale, you have extremely well-paid athletes who can make astronomical sums of money from sponsorships — tennis superstar Roger Federer, for instance, banked a $300 million, 10-year deal with clothing brand Uniqlo. Some deal!

It Supports Team Growth

There’s a pretty good rule of thumb that you can follow if you’re trying to predict which team will win a tournament or league title: it’s usually the team that spends the most money on players. That’s not a guaranteed formula, but it’s a useful trend — the more you spend, the better you do. So it’s in every club’s interest to have as much money as possible, and that’s why all clubs look for lucrative sponsorships. Premier League clubs, for instance, have a whole host of sponsorship deals in place, most notably their shirt sponsors. The most valuable football shirt sponsor deal belongs to Real Madrid, who receive €70 million a year from Emirates. No wonder they’re always winning the Champions League!

It Has Benefits for Sports Fans

It might seem that sports sponsorships only benefit brands — which get access to a lucrative audience — and sports clubs, which receive huge sums of money. But in fact, sports sponsorships can have benefits for fans, too. The terms of sponsorship deals are more interesting than simply “exchanging X amount of money to display our brand’s logo.” In many cases, sponsorship deals can lead to unique opportunities for fans that they would otherwise not be able to have. The deal between PokerStars and Oracle Red Bull, for instance, gives poker players the chance to win once-in-a-lifetime Formula One experiences. Opportunities like these wouldn’t exist if there was not a deal in place between two large brands. 

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It Can Keep Tournaments In Existence

Sponsorship deals do not just exist to add money to the already pretty full pot of cash. In some cases, sponsorship deals can play a vital role in keeping tournaments in existence. A case in point is the Olympic Games. By 1980, the games were running up huge debts that threatened the existence of the tournament. The 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles was the first to invite corporate sponsors to finance the tournament, which was such a success that the model has remained in place ever since. 

Sponsorships Are Here to Stay

Like them or not, sponsorships provide a vital lifeline for clubs, players, and leagues. Indeed, if sponsors were to withdraw from the sporting world tomorrow, the whole industry as we know it would more or less come crashing down. So if you like the Premier League and other major tournaments, thank the sponsors!