Alicia Schmidt, German born in ’98, is divided between an athlete and a model career (Instagram)
The Nielsen Sports Report guides the choices of professionals in the sector
The sports sponsorship scenario is changing. Despite the obvious difficulties of football, even following the pandemic, three factors are showing growth: women’s sport, the use of events through digital platforms and the blockchain. This is what emerges from the 2022 report of Nielsen Sports, a global leader in sponsorship and fan intelligence analysis, on global sports marketing trends. The study examines the changes in the behavior of fans during the pandemic, to stay connected to the sports and teams they follow, through increased social media activity, betting, co-watching or otherwise. Nielsen believes that in 2022 the “Fanbase”or community of fans, will have a significant impact on sports sponsorship models, content distribution, the rise of cryptocurrencies, e-sports and women’s sports.
Online sportsmen: the digital boom
Due to the ever-increasing number of connected devices, 40.7% of sports fans globally now follow sports live on digital platforms. In turn, this caused the increase in Over-The-Top (OTT) media rights which includes a 19% jump for major European football leagues in the past two years locally and a 31% increase expected for the men’s tennis ATP Tour in 2023. The demand for content in general remains high: broadcasts related to sporting events, such as highlights, summary videos and others, in fact boast an audience almost equal to that of the event itself. Nielsen estimates that 39.4% of fans worldwide will watch content related to a sporting event on a deferred basis. In addition, the vision of sport has become a multi-screen experience, with 47% of sporting event viewers interacting with other live content simultaneously, a figure that has seen a 5% increase in the past year.
Because more and more brands are focusing on women’s sport
Nielsen reported a 146% year-on-year increase in sponsorship investments in women’s sports (UEFA, FIFA, World Rugby) compared to a 27% increase in 2020. Thanks to the increased broadcast of women’s sports on television, some have been created. significant specific sponsorship opportunities in this sector. In fact, many brands are reaching previously unreached consumers with sponsorships in men’s sport alone. Marco Nazzari, Managing Director International of Nielsen Sportssays: “From our work as a data-driven company, and thanks to polls of thousands of fans, it has become clear that fans are demanding new types of content suitable for innovative distribution platforms. In turn, this has a impact on how rights holders and brands should address public engagement and sponsorship outcomes. With the growing sophistication of sponsorships, brands expect to measure effectiveness at every stage. Predicting ROI and sales growth will be key in ensuring continued relevance to sports rights holders and ensuring their future brand marketing budget“.
Other key trends identified in the Nielsen Sports Report for 2022:
–Sports sponsorships increased 107% in 2021 and, following an analysis of 100 sponsorships across seven markets across 20 industries, Nielsen found that sports sponsorship resulted in an average 10% increase in purchase intent among fans. Overall, the Nielsen 2021 study “Trust in advertising” on trust in advertising showed that 81% of respondents worldwide trust in whole or in part brand sponsorships at sporting events.
-It is expected that companies of blockchain investing in sports sponsorships will reach $ 5 billion by 2026. This represents an expected 778% increase in sports sponsorship by cryptocurrency, blockchain and NFT brand categories.
– Greater potential has been shown in establishing one connection with the fans from athletes, with 26% of fans using social media to follow sports news, saying athletes are a great way to connect with brands and sponsors.
-In 2021 they were announced 2,254 e-sports sponsorship agreements globally, up from 1,785 in 2020, making it one of the fastest growing segments in the global entertainment industry. In the last year, women’s e-sports fans increased by 19%while those of men’s e-sports by 12%.
– “As the traditional and digital worlds merge, the sponsorship life cycle is expandingcreating further and more complete monetization opportunities, “said Nazzari.” Brands will have to exploit new technologies unreservedly and use digital platforms to develop fan engagement strategies that previously did not exist in linear broadcasting. ” represents the catalyst for a huge change “.
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