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Australian and New Zealand sport sponsorship market worth $927 million
The most detailed ever analysis of sport sponsorship in Australia and New Zealand has found the combined countries' sponsorship spend is worth US$880 million (A$927 million).
The report, published by Sponsorship Today, lists and analyses 1,662 deals (1,405 in Australia and 257 in New Zealand) and estimates the value of Australian sponsorship at US$735 million (A$774 million) and New Zealand at US$145 million (NZ$182 million).
Relative to GDP, the report suggests that sponsorship spend levels are significant and compare favourably with other developed nations.
The 129-page report analyses the data by sport, sponsoring industry and company. It shows that AFL is the biggest recipient of corporate backing with US$136 million spent by sponsors annually.
Rugby union is second on US$105 million, followed by rugby league (US$90 million) and motorsport (US$77 million). Football, cricket and tennis take the next three slots.
Report author Simon Rines explains "Rugby union's high showing is down to the very large deals achieved by the All Blacks in New Zealand.
"adidas pays in the region of US$25 million per year and AIG, the shirt sponsor, US$12.4 million. Despite the fact that rugby union in Australia comes seventh in overall national earnings, the All Blacks' deals lift the sport when spend across the two countries is examined."
Analysis of the data shows that in Australia in particular, the profile of sponsorship differs from other western economies.
Rines explains "in most countries the financial service sector is by far the dominant player in sponsorship, typically accounting for between 20% and 25% of total spend.
"In Australia it is only 13.4%. Similarly, telecommunications is normally another major investor but again, in Australia, Telstra's rugby league title sponsorship, at US$21 million is the only deal of major significance and the sector is worth just 5.6% of the total."
Instead the car (13.2%), alcohol (7.4%) and soft drinks (6%) industries contribute higher levels than in most countries, as do Governments with 6.1% of sponsorships.
Rines sees that the situation with alcohol is interesting, adding "the Australian Government introduced its 'Be the Influence' program to help reduce alcohol sponsorship.
"Although this has clearly happened with a number of sports effectively taking Government sponsorship and dropping alcohol partners, the reality is that sport remains more dependent on alcohol money than the USA, Germany, UK, Canada, Spain, Italy or Brazil.
"With Russia and France having banned alcohol sponsorship, Australia has the highest proportion of alcohol spend of any major economy."
The report suggests that the recent reports of illegal doping and links to organised crime have not yet hit sponsorship in Australia.
Here Rines explains "many of the sponsors are still waiting to see how this will unfold.
"Because the sponsors are contracted over a number of years, it is a big decision to terminate the agreements. To an extent the initial reported scale of the problem has, ironically, helped with this decision. Because no one sport has been singled out, there is no single sponsor being tainted by the allegations.
"Also, the concern that followed the initial announcement of the Crime Commission report does not appear to have been sustained. No major criminal charges have yet materialised, and it appears now that it is more of a wake-up call on the issues than the start of a major criminal probe. If rights holders take the appropriate steps, it shouldn't have a big impact on sponsorship."
Having a small population has curtailed the commercial potential of most sports in New Zealand with the exception of rugby union, which accounts for 63% of all sponsorship spend as a result of the huge All Blacks deals. The report finds that the major challenges in the country are for small rights holders to increase their commercial expertise to attract and retain higher value sponsors.
The financial services sector accounts for 24.5% of deal value in New Zealand followed by sports clothing (24.1%) and the car industry on 7.1%.
For more information contact Simon Rines of International Marketing Reports Ltd on +44 1364 642224 E: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.imrpublications.com/table-of-contents.aspx?sid=40&rid=2
Images: The All Blacks with their AIG shirt sponsorship (top) and alcohol sponsorship at Australian cricket (below).
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