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Research and Markets: Financial Services and Drinks Companies Are Drawn To Sponsoring Sport as A Marketing or Customer Relationship Tool (Examples Being the Barclays Premiership and the Carling Cup).

DUBLIN, Ireland -- Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c38913) has announced the addition of "Sports Sponsorship Market Report 2006" to their offering.

Since the 1980s, commercial sponsorship has pervaded most professional sports, and sponsors have gained a higher profile in the 2000s through `title sponsorships'. This means that the name of the sponsor precedes the name of an event (e.g. the John Smith's Grand National), a stadium (the Reebok Stadium) or even a team (Total Network Solutions, a club playing in the main football league in Wales).

However, despite the pervasive use of commercial names, spending on sports sponsorship has not increased substantially since the 1990s. Maturity has brought slower growth in both the number and value of `deals' recognised in the UK, and sponsors are driving harder bargains with recipients of funding, (which range from sports governing bodies, to clubs, and even individuals who are paid to `endorse' a brand).

The wide range of sports that can be sponsored is matched by the variety of industry sectors supplying sponsors, although the headlines are inevitably taken by the mainstream sports and the multi million pound deals. Football is outstandingly popular at all levels (spectating, on television, club support) and companies have paid handsomely to sponsor leagues, clubs and national teams. In particular, financial services and drinks companies are drawn to sponsoring sport as a marketing or customer relationship tool (examples being the Barclays Premiership and the Carling Cup), but significant sponsors in the UK also include energy companies (the npower Test series in English cricket), telecommunications providers (Vodafone sponsors several sports) and sports-goods companies themselves (Adidas, Nike and Reebok).

As targets for UK sponsors, sports wax and wane in popularity depending on current performance levels. England's victory in the Rugby World Cup in 2003 generated exceptional interest, while the exciting Ashes series between England and Australia in 2005 had a similarly mobilising effect in cricket.

The next few years in UK sponsorship will be dominated by an exceptional event: the hosting of the Olympics by London in 2012. The organising committee has started looking for sponsors, and aims to raise up to GBP 700m in sponsorship funds from UK companies, divided into three tiers of spending. Meanwhile, the football World Cup, being held in Germany in 2006, has already attracted major sponsors, as it is a tournament in which England has high hopes of performing well.

Although Olympics and World Cups dominate sponsorship, the market is increasingly polarised between these large professional elements and support at `grass-roots' level for amateur participation in sport. Impetus is being provided by the need to tackle obesity and lack of fitness in the UK population, and this is drawing in more companies (such as McDonald's and Coca-Cola) to invest in sports-related promotions.

Companies Mentioned Include:-

--Barclays

--Cheltenham & Gloucester

--HBOS

--Nationwide

--Northern Rock

--Norwich Union

--The Royal Bank of Scotland

--Carling

--Diageo

--Heineken

--InBev

--Coca-Cola

--Lucozade

--Red Bull

--Vodafone

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c38913
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 29, 2006
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