HSBC’s key global golf partnerships can calm down. See why!

By: December 14, 2020

HSBC announced today that it will continue to support the 3 key pillars of its global golf brand partnership portfolio:

HSBC renewed the last time its multi-year title sponsorship was in 2015. I assume this time it will last 5 years, until 2025.

WGC HSBC Champions - Previews Day One - Photo by Getty Images

Jonathan Castleman, HSBC’s Group Head of Brand and Brand Partnerships said

“We are pleased to be extending our commitment to these important brand partnerships, in order to support and grow the game of golf in Asia. 

When we first introduced the HSBC Champions format to Shanghai in 2005 and Singapore in 2008, professional golf in Asia was in its relative infancy.

Today, the world’s best golfers appear in ‘Asia’s Majors’ every year and the CGA-HSBC China Junior Golf Programme has established a long term and sustainable pathway for future generations of Chinese golfers.

Our ambition is to promote the game at all levels by inspiring future generations to take part in the sport.”

The two championships will return to their established homes of Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore and Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai.

The two Flagship events are known amongst the players as ‘Asia’s Majors’ and have been a catalyst for the growth of golf in Asia.

Since 2007, the CGA-HSBC China Junior Golf Programme has put golf clubs in the hands of over 110,000 children across 25 cities and 18 provinces. 

bubble - HSBC

Global sports sponsorship – spending in 2020

The sports marketing agency Two Circles found in its study:

  • The total global sports sponsorship rights fees will suffer a 37% year-on-year decrease, dropping from US$46.1 billion in 2019 to US$28.9 billion in 2020.
  • The projections include a 45% year-on-year decrease in spend (US$5.7 billion) from financial services companies due to COVID-19. This sector is one of the hardest hit by Covid-19, which was the biggest investor in sports sponsorship in 2019 with US$12.6 billion (27.3%) of total spend.

WARC’s Marketer’s Toolkit 2021 study says:

  • Over a third (35%) of the advertisers surveyed for the report expect to decrease investment in sponsorship, with only 17% planning to spend more than they did in 2020.
  • Of those brands cutting marketing budgets over the coming 12 months, over half (53%) anticipate reduced sponsorship activity.

The year 2021 will be really interesting for golf event sponsors. I wonder how flexible they will be to adjust their sponsorship marketing to the new circumstances (e.g. sponsoring more eSports events, mobile applications, etc.).