ESA survey finds confidence is returning for recovery of sponsorship business

June 30 – The European Sponsorship Association (ESA) has released results from the second edition of its ESA Sponsorship Sentiment Tracker, indicating that there is a growing confidence in the sponsorship business as coronavirus lockdown is eased across Europe.

“The results demonstrate cautious optimism across Europe, with average confidence rising to 5.76 out of 10 this month, up from 5.48 in the first survey, conducted in April. Confidence was strongest in continental Europe, rising from 5.33 to 5.72 (+0.39 points). By contrast, the UK’s confidence rating was flat, rising only from 5.53 to 5.56 out of 10,” says the ESA.

Breaking the responses down of the 200 plus sponsorship leaders canvassed, brands are the most positive about sponsorship, while rights holders have gained significant confidence in the market compared to the previous survey.

Financially, the survey finds there are significantly more businesses expecting to see revenue increases. “While businesses are still forecasting heavy losses due to the pandemic, the gradual return of sports and entertainment has seen some positivity in financial impact – 23% of respondents estimate an increase in revenue this year, up from just 6% in wave one,” says the ESA report.

Geographically, the UK lags behind the rest of Europe in terms of financial forecasting – an increase of 2% against a more positive 9%.

ESA Chairman, Andy Westlake, said: “It’s great to see that some optimism is returning to the industry, albeit gradually. Having been hit so hard over the last three months, it’s clear that the return of live sport and entertainment is having a positive impact on sentiment, especially within the rights holder community…As the return of major events continues to encourage sponsors and brands, we expect to see confidence increasingly grow. With 2021 offering so much opportunity, given the huge number of major events due to take place, this gradual improvement in outlook should be seen as a positive sign that the industry continues to recover.”

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