By Barry Janoff
January 30, 2017: In a year that does not include such global, periodic competitions as the Olympics or FIFA World Cup, but does include the World Baseball Classic and such annual high-profile events as the Super Bowl, Academy Awards, Grammy Awards and the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, global sponsorship spending is projected to rise 4.5% in 2017 to $62.8 billion, up from $60.1 billion spent in 2016.
In North America, sponsorship spend is expected to increase 4.1% in 2017 to $23.2 billion, up from $22.3 billion last year, according to the 32nd annual Sponsorship Year-End Industry Review And Forecast from research and consulting firm IEG, Chicago.
However, the increases being projected almost across the board are expected to be softer than in previous years due to political, financial and logistics issues.
The projected global sponsorship spend rise of 4.5% is slightly below last year’s 4.6% increase, which itself was below the forecast of 4.7%.
In North America, which IEG said is "the world’s largest sponsorship market," the anticipated growth rate of 4.1% "is expected to lag behind the global rate . . . following 4.2% growth last year."
According to IEG, issues that could prove to be hindrance on sponsor spending are "uncertainty over global and local economic conditions in the wake of Brexit, the Trump election and other geopolitical matters, and its impact on marketing spending, including sponsorships and partnerships."
Another key impactful factor is the "lingering gap between sponsor expectations and properties’ ability to deliver when it comes to both personalized marketing opportunities based on audience data, and valuable digital content and platforms," per IEG.
Sponsorship growth in North America is forecast to lead other forms of marketing, with ad spending expected to grow 2.6% and other marketing spend up 3.2%, according to a report from IEG parent GroupM, which is the global media investment management operation of WPP Group.
According to GroupM’s This Year Next Year worldwide media and marketing forecast, "Corporates are even more reluctant to make big investment decisions.
Some of this is transitory (energy prices), some more enduring (China’s structural adjustment), some political (Brexit, European populism) and some simply because CFOs despair this grinding global recovery will ever reach 'escape velocity.' "
The Super Bowl is one of the few sports properties that seems to be protected from negative outside influences.
In 2016, sponsors paid nearly $370 million for in-game messages. When pre- and post-game programming is added in, the total hits $445 million for the one-day event, according to Kantar Media, NY.
The figure is expected to be topped during Super Bowl LI, with Fox asking for upward of $5 million for a 30-second spot and marketers and sponsors looking to target an anticipated viewing audience of more than 110 million.
In specific categories, global sports sponsorship spend is expected to reach $16.4 billion this year, up 4.3% from $15.7 billion last year and $15 billion in 2015.
Sports is projected to claim 70% of sponsor spend this year, followed by Entertainment (10%), Causes (9%), Arts (4%); and Festivals, Fairs and Annual Events (4%), according to IEG.
Sponsorship spend in entertainment is projected to reach $2.3 billion in 2017, up 3.9% from $2.2 billion in 2016 and up from $1.92 million in 2015.
Sponsorship spend in art-related events is projected to reach $994 million (up from $962 million last year); and sponsorship spending in Festivals, Fair and Annual Events is estimated to reach $904 million, up from $878 million in 2016 and $860 million in 2015.
In specific sports, worldwide sponsorship spend in motorsports topped $5.3 billion last year, golf was at $1.8 billion and tennis was at $739 million, per IEG.
Among the Big Four sports in the U.S. and Canada, NFL sponsorship spend was $1.2 billion last season, the NBA reached a record $799 million in the 2015-2016 season, MLB saw $778 million and the NHL realize $477 million in sponsorship spending in 2015-16.
According to research firm Statista, which provides information to companies and universities around the world, global sponsorship spend on soccer hit a record $60.2 billion last year.
The highest grossing music festival in 2016 was Desert Trip — a two-weekend special event that stared the likes of the Rolling Stones, The Who, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters — which reached $160 million, according to the organizers.
Coachella, usually the highest-grossing music festival of the year, came in second but set a record at $94.2 million. The 2017 event is scheduled for April 14-16 and April 21-23 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif.
Awards Shows Honored With $139M Sponsorship Spend in 2016
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