The uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on how rights holders sell sponsorship, brands make sponsorship investments, and how commercial partnerships are activated. In addition, advancing technology is changing the way how fans participate, engage in events, and consume sports news.
I am expecting new sponsorship formats, channels, and new fan necessities to evolve in the near future. Sponsors have to figure out even more innovative touchpoints to connect with fans remotely. Thus the range of fan experiences and engagements will grow and we have to figure out how to measure them.
To make the sponsorship profitable, data-driven digital fan engagement will be crucial going forward. These data will help both marketers and rights holders to measure brand engagement and hence evaluate key metrics like brand awareness, purchase intent, and leads generated. Such data can help marketers target more precisely the right people.
We should understand the traditional media landscape (e.g. TV vs streaming) is on the verge of major changes too. Deloitte says
“The more fans are engaged year-round the more likely they will spend on tickets and merchandise during the season. Further, off-season engagement can be a lever for moving fans up the tiers of fandom—pushing a casual fan who only watches games on TV to finally attend a game in person.
40% higher preference among Millennials than Baby Boomers for using social media to obtain information
on their favorite team and players.
The Amundi Evian Championship has got quite big communities in social media:
- Facebook: 62,457 followers
- Instagram: 10,700 followers,
- Twitter: 9,115 followers,
- YouTube: 640 followers.
Nielsen Sports Digital Analysis found
“Athlete ‘advocacy posts’ generate 63% more engagement for brands compared to other owned social media content.”
In 2020, the athlete advocacy value was $314 million. In 2023, Nielsen Sports is expecting to reach $1,2 billion.
Along with this, we have to be very careful as we do not know when will the COVID-19 pandemic end.
Amundi Evian Championship: Rolex sponsorship
The world’s best women golfers will gather in the spectacular surroundings of Évian-les-Bains from 22–25 July to contest The Amundi Evian Championship, the only Major played in continental Europe.
Rolex, a partner of the event for more than 20 years, will once again be present as the Official Timekeeper.
The association with the Amundi Evian Championship also reflects Rolex’s pioneering role in the women’s game. A partner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LGPA) since 1980, the Swiss watchmaker continues to support the leading competitors, amateur events, and professional tours and is the Official Timekeeper at all 5 women’s Majors.
Rolex’s support was further highlighted in 2019 when Rolex awarded to its Testimonee Lorena Ochoa the inaugural Prize for a Better Tomorrow, recognizing initiatives linked to women’s golf that have a
- positive societal impact and
- champion excellence,
- continuity, and