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3.1.3 – Making informed decisions: Sponsorship. Learning objectives. To understand the characteristics of commercial sport. To develop an understanding of how sponsorship has impacted on sport.

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3.1.3 – Making informed decisions: Sponsorship

Learning objectives

To understand the characteristics of commercial sport.

To develop an understanding of how sponsorship has impacted on sport.

To describe the advantages and disadvantages of sponsorship deals to the sport, performer and sponsor.

To understand the acceptable and unacceptable sponsors in sport and why.



Sponsorship in sport is a huge business and vital to the survival of some sports.

Sport is now a GLOBAL product. As a ‘high-profile’ sport, Football attracts massive media interest and huge sponsorship deals

How much did BARCLAYS pay to sponsor the Premier League from 2007 – 2010?

£65 Million


Impact of Sponsorship...

What do you see as soon as a high profile athlete like Lewis Hamilton steps out of his car and into an interview?


Impact of Sponsorship

Media coverage of sports and high profile performers lead to huge sponsorship deals. Nike and other sports companies put large sums of money into commercial activity. WHY?

What athletes/teams do you think of when you think of Nike?

Sponsorship of teams and individual players is a way of improving their brand/image.


Performers and sponsorship

How does a player maintain their commercial status?

What is more important to a performer, Winning or image/brand?


Performers and sponsorship

High profile performers maintain their commercial status by maintaining high standards of performance.

Winning can become very important to an athletes marketing success and income.


Advantages/disadvantages to the sponsor

  • Advantages:
  • For financial gain: by putting a sponsors name on a stadium or associated to a competition they are attracting a wide audience.
  • Advertising brand name
  • Promote a caring attitude and increasing goodwill.
  • Tax relief.

Advantages/disadvantages to the sponsor

  • Disadvantages:
  • Sponsorship does not always guarantee success.
  • Can be a risk backing new talent.
  • Investing in teams and individuals can backfire if they are not as successful as they would have hoped. i.e. Club teams not qualifying for major competitions.
  • Any bad publicity from the athlete will effect the brand name associated.

Advantages/disadvantages to the performer

  • Advantages:
  • Supplies clothing
  • Relieves financial worries
  • Earn a living
  • Role model status
  • Other merchandise can come from a sponsorship

Advantages/disadvantages to the performer

  • Disadvantages:
  • Sponsorship might be short term
  • Performers may have to advertise a product that they do not like.
  • Performers might be contracted to put in appearances and attend public speaking.
  • If the performer is in the media for negative reasons they could lose sponsorship deals.

Advantages/disadvantages to the sport/activity

  • Advantages:
  • Some sports are popular due to exposure brought about through sponsorship and advertisement campaigns.
  • Gives the sport financial security for a period of time.
  • Attracts the best players in the world to that sport.
  • Provides money for improvements in facilities and training.

Advantages/disadvantages to the sport/activity

  • Disadvantages:
  • Sponsors can demand too much influence over the sport.
  • Sponsors can attempt to make the sport more viewer friendly and enforce advert breaks and even rule changes.
  • Sponsors control the day of events being played. i.e. Super Sunday football.

Impact of the media on sport formats and organisation

For some sports the media attention has led to changes in rules and structure.

  • Rules have been adapted to increase the speed of play/action to prevent spectator boredom.
  • e.g. Multi-ball system in football
  • Changes in scoring to create excitement.
  • e.g. Badminton. You can now score on any play not just your serve.
  • e.g. Golden goal was introduced

Breaks are an ideal time for sponsors and commercial companies to advertise.

  • e.g. American football has numerous breaks in play.
  • Competition formats have changed. 20/20 cricket is shorter and more exciting than test cricket.
  • HOW? WHY?
  • e.g. 20/20 bowl outs, free hit, fielder and bowler restriction.
  • Match timings have been altered to suit television. Tradition was Saturday afternoon, now football is televised nearly all week.
  • e.g. Super Sunday..

Acceptable and unacceptable types of sponsors

When sports seek sponsors they generally approach brand with a good, clean and health image. i.e. Gillette

Restrictions have been in place for a number of years now on the sponsorship deals involving alcohol and tobacco brands. It was felt that sports had a moral and social responsibility not to promote these products.


Summary Questions:

1. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of a sponsorship deal to a performer.

2. How does e.On (energy supplier) get benefits from sponsoring the FA cup?

3. Why are some brands banned from sponsoring sports?