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Chapter 8: Sponsorship and football
Sponsorship has seen significant growth as a tool in the marketing communications mix over the last 20 years (Cunningham et al., 2009). The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) put the value of global sponsorship activity at $51 billion in 2012 despite the difficult economic climate. Sponsorship is also projected to grow at over 4 per cent per annum, albeit that sponsorship is changing in nature and large integrated partnerships comprise a large, and growing, proportion of global sponsorship expenditure. Moreover, growth in spending on sponsorship outstrips that on advertising and the gap between the two is widening. Putting it simply, Cornwell (2008) says, ‘the future is here’. Football plays an important role in the field of sport sponsorship. Chadwick and Thwaites (2005) said that seven of the ten largest sponsorship deals in Britain were football sponsorships at the turn of the century. Football sponsorships include sponsorship of football shirts – Samsung’s sponsorship of Chelsea shirts currently stands at £15 million per annum – and also of other football ‘properties’ such as stadium naming rights. One of the fastest-growing sectors of the UK’s sports sponsorship industry is stadium naming rights. The building of a number of new football stadia in the UK in the aftermath of the Taylor report’s publication in 1990 resulted in this becoming the largest growth area in football sponsorship, with some outstanding new sponsorship opportunities.
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