Sponsorship, like league football, is largely a zero-sum game. Brand budgets are finite, meaning sports properties compete to secure sponsorship money through demonstrating a likely return.
This is becoming easier for the elite performers and harder for the rest. This fact has driven much of the recent disruption in sport – the IPL recognised the impact that having the world’s best cricketers would have on their revenues, just as LIV golf have recognised the importance of fielding golf’s biggest names to create commercial value.
This is clearly demonstrated in football, where the difference in the level of sponsorship revenue secured by the best teams in the Premier League is disproportionate to the difference in quality. This shows:
- Sustained success creates lasting value which can insulate you from poor current performance (e.g. Manchester United)
- That improving performance will pay dividends in enabling you to move up the food chain