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The Top 5 Sport Sponsorship Trends in 2022

2022 is just two weeks old and by now, everyone seems to have posted their reviews about what has been achieved in the previous year. As fun as it is to reminisce about the past, as a future-oriented start-up we are more interested in what lies ahead. And as it turns out, we’re also big fans of sharing – so we figured we share our predictions on the top sport sponsorship trends for 2022 with you. 

THE CONTINUING RISE OF CRYPTO AND NFT

When we read T. Bettina Conrwell’s prediction that cryptocurrency and blockchain brands will become even more relevant as sponsors in 2022, we figured she might be up to something. After all, she’s one of the globally leading university professors on sport sponsorships! However, we only fully grasped the magnitude of this trend when we spoke to our sales team, who are doing extra hours to collect crypto sponsorship offers from elite sports teams around the world.

So yeah, we jump on the hype train as well and predict that NFT and crypto will continue to dominate the sponsorship headlines in 2022. And if you think about it, it absolutely makes sense! Due to the high volatility, crypto trading certainly has an element of suspense. At the very least, it’s a more emotional investment than buying yet another ETF. With that in mind it makes sense to partner up with the most emotional form of advertising, which at the same time provides high reach and ample opportunities to tell stories. 

Forbes wrote in September that crypto companies are at an “arms race” to spend “hundreds of millions of dollars” in sports. We’re looking forward to capture our share of these spendings on behalf of the athletes and teams on our marketplace!

DIGITAL FIRST

When we started seven years ago, more than a few people laughed at the idea that sponsors would buy a sponsorship online. After all, it’s a “people’s business”, and “no-one would buy a serious sponsorship without meeting in person”.

Well, we guess that notion aged fast. If the pandemic had one positive effect, it’s the increased willingness to meet virtually (and save hours of travel time and tons of CO2). Likewise, sponsors are increasingly appreciating the additional transparency, reduced transaction costs, and simplification of streamlined, digital sponsorship processes.

While we pray for the end of the pandemic, our prediction is that the digitalization of the entire process will not bounce back to the status quo.

DATA IS THE NEW OIL

150 years ago, sitting on an oil field was the best way to get rich (when saying this, we picture John D. Rockefeller nodding in approval from the afterlife). Nowadays, data is the new oil – also in sponsorship.

Marketing as a whole has become much more data-driven in the last 20 years, and finally sponsorship is catching up. Trust us, we know from experience that it’s sometimes difficult to collect meaningful data – but once you have all the insights, you’re able to identify true sponsorship “gems” that are vastly superior in terms of marketing ROI.

We feel that brands have learned by now that “brand fit” (the suitability of the match between rights holder and sponsor) matters more than “reach” alone. With the help of data mining, brands are now able to precisely identify the sponsorship opportunities that maximize the fit with their target audience, brand image, and marketing objectives.

As a result, we predict that 2022 will have much less “generic” sponsorship deals where brands just expensively buy a single high-reach sponsorship right. Instead, we’ll see more “portfolio” deals where brands cleverly acquire a portfolio of high-brand-fit rights. If you want to read more about this, do check out our blog: Sport sponsorship is like dating – finding the perfect match 

THE BREAKTHROUGH OF VIRTUAL ADVERTISING (THIS TIME FOR REAL)

For years, we’ve been hearing that virtual advertising will reach mass-adoption in the immediate future. Admittedly, the idea is compelling: With sports events streamed all over the world, wouldn’t it make sense to virtually replace the images of physical perimeter ads with “virtual ads” that can be customized for every different region?

Yet still, in 2021, European football fans were bewildered when they saw Chinese letters on the perimeter ads of the European football cup. Nonetheless, we do believe that 2022 is finally the year when virtual advertising has its breakthrough.

Don’t believe us? Hear it from an expert: “After successful implementation of the software based Virtual Advertising solution in 2021, we see Virtual Advertising at a turning point in 2022. The deployment of a fully remote operating VA solution which can virtualize any surface and has no limit to the number of feeds produced downstream of production for TV or OTT, brings more flexibility because of reduced logistical efforts. Without hardware and staff onsite being involved, the deployment costs are shrinking significantly, which makes it affordable to much more Clubs and Rightsholders. A huge opportunity to offer partners targeted messaging, bringing relevant content to the relevant audiences in the relevant markets.” says Michael Drotleff, Director Commercial Accounts DACH, Supponor about the potential of virtual advertising in 2022. 

OUR PERSONAL PREDICTION: SPONSOO GOES GLOBAL

While the last four trends dealt more with the sponsorship market in general, the fifth one is about us. We already started in 2021 to reach out to a more global audience, but in 2022 we’re stepping up our “internationalization” game several levels. We promise you that you’ll hear from us everywhere in the world! Our website is now available in English, German, Italian, Spanish, French, and Arabic, and our international portfolio is growing at an ever-increasing pace. No matter if it’s the Nigerian Ski Association, Korean elite eSport teams like Gen.G, hundreds of US College Athletes, or Moldovian football champion Sheriff Tiraspol who shocked Real Madrid in the Champions League with their last-minute victory at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu – you’ll find all of them on Sponsoo.   

So our personal prediction is that a much higher percentage of the deals on our platform will be with international athletes, teams, and brands. We’re looking forward to that. Hello world!

Have our predictions caught your interest? Become a registered sponsor on our website and check out our portfolio: https://www.sponsoo.com/sponsor or contact us: +49 (0)40 228 63 293 / sales@sponsoo.com

1 Comment

  1. This is an interesting article – I will be following along your journey. Especially the internationalization is an interesting factor. There is basically no way around it with the digitalization connection everyone around the world.

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