Megatrends, Sponsorships and Activation Strategies in Sports

August 2019

Megatrends are re-shaping how we think about consumerism globally. This report looks at how some of these trends will influence the professional sports industry, specifically focusing on sponsorship and activation strategies in a world of evolving consumer values, behaviours and attitudes.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Sustainability sponsorship integration: enhanced awareness grows activation potential

Fans and consumers are addressing their environmental impact. Partnership opportunities exist for rights holders seeking to incorporate sustainable/ethical businesses as a means of brand differentiation. Sustainable stadia using renewable energy and addressing single-use plastic consumption, such as the Premier League (via a partnership with Ocean Rescue) will continue to grow.

From negative to positive: how sports properties can cater to fan demand for ‘healthy’

The marketing of perceived unhealthy products in professional sports to impressionable audiences can negatively impact not just the brand image, but the fanbase itself. The future will see this status quo questioned, and potentially lead to a strategic shift with packaged food companies that is focused on healthier alternatives.

How local fandom can be bolstered through augmented authenticity

Activations with deeply embedded narratives, such as the Nike Inc. and Philadelphia 76ers ‘City Edition’ jersey rollout serve as a reminder that as sports continues to become globalized, local fans continue to be the backbone of the team, and a catalyst toward global growth. Partnerships and activations based on history and tradition will continue to resonate strongly with fans.

Riding the wave of digital innovation can help rights holders win in the wider entertainment space

Massive investment from tech giants and streaming platforms coupled with a sports fan’s finite time ensures rights holders need to ride the wave of digital innovation in order to remain relevant. A seamless live experience and the production and surfacing of supplementary content for fans is crucial if fans are to continue to allocate significant periods of time to sports consumption.

Key findings
Layering sports sponsorship over megatrends
Partnership and activation overview (1)
Partnership and activation overview (2)
Why we need to re-evaluate what a football fan looks like…
Partnership perspective
League Index: Premier League Performance Capsule
Club Index: Tottenham Hotspur Performance Capsule
Making greener choices dependent on spending power
Tech industry provides answers for sports
Evolving tastes set to dictate future of food and beverage partnerships?
Healthy brands under-represented in professional sports
Healthy living: partnership overview
Partnership perspective: authenticity is key
Philadelphia 76ers
Striving for authenticity: partnership overview
Deepening the connection and experience crucial to sustainability
A deeper NBA experience with ‘Next VR’
Experience more: partnership overview
The future of sponsorship: attention through innovation
Megatrends and partnership potential: key takeaways


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