Sponsorship Deals In Sports In today’s world, sponsorship plays a very important role in sports. From helping drive growth to fostering brand visibility, providing sources of revenue, among others, sponsorship creates a meaningful connection between the world of sports and the world of business.
Contrary to popular beliefs, sponsorship in sports is viewed beyond just the financial support one party
receives in a deal. It also involves value that is being offered in the course of a partnership, both on the
part of a sport team or body and on the part of the sponsor.
In this article, you’ll get to find out more of what sponsorship deals are, their different types, the impact
they have in the world of sports as well as some of the greatest sponsorship deals in the history of
Table of Contents
What is a sponsorship deal
The concept of sponsorship is centered around an amount of money or a fee that is paid by a sponsor to
a property (usually in entertainment, arts and sports) in exchange for a commercial potential associated
with that property that can be exploited. Simply put, it involves a party, usually an individual, a brand, or
an organization, paying another party an agreed amount of money in exchange for having their
products, services or image promoted.
Read More Revenue Streams In Sports Industry
In sports, sponsorship deals are centered around an individual, organization, or brand paying an athlete,
a sports team or even a sports event organizer a particular fee in exchange for having their products,
services or brand image getting promoted. While one party benefits by making financial gains, the other
party benefits by getting visibility or exposure.
Sponsorship deals usually involve an agreed amount of money to be paid by the sponsor as well as an
agreed duration for which the deal will be valid.
Types of sponsorship deals in sports
The sports industry is a huge one, and as such, sponsorship deals come in different forms. There are four
known types of sponsorship deals in sports. They include: sponsorship by league
i. Individual sponsorship deals
As the name implies, this type of sponsorship deal exists between and individual and a sponsor.
Individual in this case could be an athlete, a football player, a tennis player, a basketball player, a
professional golfer, or even a pro wrestler.
Usually, a sponsorship deal between an individual and a sponsor will require the individual to endorse
the products of the sponsor and wear outfits displaying their logo or promoting their brand. The sponsor
in return will pay the individual an agreed amount of money or take care of the expenses required for
their travelling, training and participation in competitions.
ii. Teams sponsorship deals
This type of sponsorship deal exists between a team and a sponsor. The team in this case could be any
team in sports like a football team, a basketball ball team or a volleyball team.
In a sponsorship deal between a team and a sponsor, the team might be required to wear kits or display
banners at their home ground displaying the logo or promoting the sponsor. The sponsor in turn can
decide to pay for the teams traveling expenses or cost required to partake in competitions.
iii. sports sponsorship year in review
A sports sponsorship deal, which exists between a particular sport and a sponsor, can come in form of
the sports naming its league, cup or competition after the sponsor and in exchange benefit from
development programs or sport amenities provided by the sponsor.
A good example of a sports sponsorship deal is one between the English Football League and Carabao, a
Thai energy-drink brand, for three years starting from the beginning of the 2017-2018 football season.
As part of their sponsorship deal, the competition was named after the brand, and in exchange, the
brand paid a sum of £18 million.
Read More Managing Sports Team Finances
iv. Event sponsorship deals
An event sponsorship deal is usually between a sports event organizer and a sponsor. The sponsor funds
the sports event in exchange for having its products or services promoted in the course of the event.
The sports event in this case cloud be a football event like the World Cup or an athletic event like the
Sponsorship deals in sports
Now that we’ve established what sponsorship deals in sports are, what they entail, and their different
types, let’s take a look at some popular sponsorship deals in sports history.
i. Gazprom and the UEFA Champions League
In this sponsorship deal involving a sponsor (Gazprom) and an event (UEFA Champions League),
Gazprom pays an annual fee of €100 million in exchange for having its logo displayed on the field and off
the field in Champion League matches. Gazprom is also branded on Champions League apparels as well
as in advertisements online and in stadiums.
ii. Chevrolet and Manchester United
This team sponsorship deal, involving a sponsor (Chevrolet) and a sports team (Manchester United), was
signed in 2014 and expired in 2021. As part of the sponsorship deal, Chevrolet paid a sum of £64 million
each season in exchange for having its logo displayed on the front of the team’s jersey. In additional to
that, Chevrolet also sponsored the club’s social media campaigns, player appearances and fan events.
iii. Uniqlo and Roger Federer
This is a typical example of an individual sponsorship deal between a Uniqlo, a Japanese clothing brand,
and Roger Federer, a professional tennis player. In 2018, Roger Federer severed ties with Nike and
signed a 10-year sponsorship deal with Uniqlo worth around $300 million. In exchange for this, the
tennis player gets to appear in court with gears promoting Uniqlo.
iv. IOC and the Olympics
The International Olympic Committee partner is known to grant exclusive marketing rights to
organizations/brands in its partner program. At the 2020 Olympics in Japan, some IOC partners like
Omega, Coca-Cola, Panasonic, Atos, Dow, Samsung, Visa, GE, McDonald’s, among others, were sponsors
of the tournament.
This is a typical example of a sponsorship deal between a sponsor and an event.
v. Adidas and Real Madrid
In this sponsorship deal involving a sponsor (Adidas) and a football team (Real Madrid), Adidas pays
$113 million yearly in exchange for being the sole supplier of the team’s official kit. In addition to that, it
works with Real Madrid to create new trainings and performance technologies.
In conclusion, most sponsorship deals in sports are centered around a sponsor paying an athlete, a sports
team or a sports event organizer an agreed amount of money in exchange for getting its products,
services or image promoted. These sponsorship deals also come in different forms, like a sponsorship
deal between a sponsor and an individual, a sponsor and a team, a sponsor and a sport, and between a
sponsor and an event. nike billion