Sports Fans Want Social Distancing as NFL and NBA to Start New Seasons at Full Capacity

Sep 9, 2021

After more than a year-and-a-half of starts and stops amid the disruption of the coronavirus, sports fans are eager for the arrival of the 2021 NFL season. As the most lucrative professional sports league in the U.S., the league is ready to welcome fans back to the 30 stadiums that host the 32 competing franchises. And to that effect, all stadiums are slated to allow full capacity when the...

Esports Economics Podcast Episode 1: State of the Industry

Aug 31, 2021

This is the first in a new six-part podcast series looking at the business of esports, in collaboration with Unofficial Partner.  Today’s guests are Matthew Archambault, head of partnerships for North America at Riot Games, publishers of the phenomenally successful League of Legends franchise. Matt manages strategic partnerships, national sponsorships, media rights, and merchandising for the League Championship Series (LCS).  Joining Matthew is Matt Boyd, Vice President of Nielsen...

Metrics are Key to Proving ROI for Brands Entering the Esports Arena

Aug 25, 2021

The video game industry has been growing for years, but the arrival of COVID-19 and the virtualization of our lives over the past 18 months or so has accelerated and expanded that growth. That advancement has also propelled competitive, organized gaming, aided by the pause in live sports last year, with industry forecasts projecting that esports will be more than a $1 billion industry by the end of this...

The Inclusivity of the Olympic Games Is Key to Widespread Fan Appeal

Jul 14, 2021

Rising interest in women’s sport has yet to translate into media coverage and financial investment equaling men’s sports. But this year’s Summer Olympics has the opportunity to show brands and rightsholders just how high fan interest is in female sports globally. We know the Olympics is the world’s biggest sporting event, but it’s also one where fandom is nearly even among men and women. In addition to leveling the...

The Olympics Is the Biggest Platform for Gender Equality in Global Sports

Jul 7, 2021

The world of sports is not immune to gender bias, as evidenced by the notably lopsided coverage of women’s sports by the media and the disproportionate level of brand sponsorship spend allocated to men’s sports. This situation changes, however, during a two-week period every two years when the eyes of the world focus on the Olympics, the only global sporting event characterized by true gender parity. Unlike other events,...

Cannes LIONS Live 2021: Post COVID World: Next phase with brands and esports

Jun 28, 2021

Few industries were prepared for the massive disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic caused throughout 2020, and even fewer were able to find a way to grow. The video game industry, however, did just that, with 82% of global consumers reporting that they played video games and watched game content during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. That heightened engagement has had a halo effect on the burgeoning esports...

Sports Fans are Looking to Sports Leagues and Athletes to Support Social Causes

Jun 28, 2021

As consumers continue seeking more from brands than just products and services, the premise of brand promise has grown increasingly central to many core business strategies. And as brands look to showcase their individual promises, U.S. sports fans should be a key audience. In addition to being extremely engaged with sports content, sports fans are passionate about social causes, with animal welfare and equal opportunity slotting in as the...

Sports Betting: Who’s in and how much of an opportunity do they represent?

Jun 16, 2021

Turn on any live sporting event these days and you’ll likely see an abundance of ads during the commercial breaks enticing engaged fans to get in on the action by betting on various aspects of the games and matches they’re watching. Already a $154 million game in U.S. local TV spot advertising, online sports betting is the latest way that a handful of prolific gambling brands are tapping into...

How the World’s Biggest Sports Properties Engaged Fans in 2020

May 19, 2021

The connection between fans and sports is a continually evolving relationship, with new trends and dynamics developing every year. Many of the largest global sports entities have been at the forefront of building their fan bases and actively engaging them to develop a natural and mutually beneficial conversation. Fans around the world expect more content and new ways to access their favorite events. Sports entities have responded by creating...

With Fewer Fans at Stadiums, Brands are Shifting Their Sponsorship Strategies to Digital

Apr 29, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic and limitations on fan attendance at live events has created a new sponsorship reality. Brands are adjusting how they activate their partnerships, and digital platforms have become the front runner in the market. Social media and other online platforms have become the primary vehicles to deliver a powerful virtual event experience and are unlocking new opportunities to connect with fans from afar. As the digital dimension...

BRANDS AREN’T SITTING ON THE SIDELINES: THE SOCIAL SOLIDARITY OF SPORTS SPONSORSHIPS

Apr 16, 2021

Earlier this month, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced it would move its 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta in protest of Georgia’s new restrictive voting laws. And MLB wasn’t the only organization to react to the new legislation. Atlanta-based brands Coca-Cola and Delta—both heavy sports sponsors—also came out in opposition. The positions these brands are taking are reflective of a broader trend we’re seeing across the sports industry, particularly...

The Changing Value of Sponsorship: 2021 Sports Marketing Trends

Feb 16, 2021

A disrupted world is changing the value of sponsorship. Uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated shifts in the way rights holders sell sponsorships and brands make sponsorship investments and activate their partnerships. New sponsorship entrants, new channels and new fan necessities will impact the key sponsorship value drivers in 2021 and beyond.  This new report examines how sponsorship value is evolving as the world around it changes...

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