Only seven per cent of Irish sport sponsors would consider dropping out of current deals due to Covid-19 impacts, even though one in four rights holders fear losing a partner as a result of the pandemic, a report by the Onside sponsorship agency indicates. Lives streaming is increasingly seen as a opportunity for 60 per cent of sports industry insiders.
That figure is up by 16 per cent since April. Onside CEO John Trainor said it is in part being driven by early learnings from overseas, with Germany’s Bundesliga and the National Rugby League in Australia returning to action with high viewership and online engagement. The launch of FC Barcelona’s streaming service shows the potential worldwide.
Budget constraints lead the way as the greatest challenge for sports bodies, while the biggest difficulty is in managing relationships with sponsorship partners, which is now an issue for 59 per cent of the sector, up from 38 per cent in April, Onside’s second wave of the Covid-19 sports impact monitor survey of sponsors, rights holders, broadcasters and agencies shows.
As sporting events continue to shape up for a return to play, nine in 10 members of the Irish sports industry group Sport for Business believe that major sports events should proceed behind closed doors or with reduced capacity across the rest of the year. Some 53 per cent agree with major sports events going behind closed doors this year.
One in three think sports should go ahead this year with reduced capacity in venues. Trainor said there still may be a lot to play for as three in four sports stakeholders expect to see the FAI League of Ireland and Irish international fixtures going ahead later this year, with two in three expecting the return of Guinness 6 Nations and PRO14 games before year end.
Onside revealed Musgrave Group and the GAA’s ‘Club Together’ as the stand-out initiative in action over the past two months, along with others including sponsors like Aviva, FBD and Boots and rights holders such as the FAI, LGFA and Horse Racing Ireland (HRI). Pictured above is Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Halland in action in the Bundesliga.