Global sponsorship spending is projected to grow nearly 5% in 2016 to $60.2 billion, according to a new forecast from sponsorship specialist IEG, part of WPP’s ESP Properties.
The firm reports that growth in the sector will be driven by corporate interest in sponsorships as a means to support international expansion. Also, there are more opportunities for brands to partner with rights holders in the sports and entertainment arenas beyond the home markets of properties.
“More marketers, in particular major brands from China and India, are taking a page from the playbook of U.S., European and Japanese companies that used sponsorship to build regional and global brands,” said IEG senior vice president Jim Andrews. “At the same time, rights holders continue to take advantage of digital media to open up sponsorship opportunities in markets around the world, regardless of where the property is based.”
North America, the world’s largest sponsorship market, is projected to grow 4.5% this year to more than $22.4 billion. This would mark a rebound following two years of declining growth in the region. Sports sponsorships will dominate the space in the region with expected growth of 5% to $15.7 billion. Entertainment sponsorships are forecast to increase 4% to $2.2 billion.
Strong international and domestic spending by companies based in China, India, South Korea, Japan and other countries — is expected to make Asia-Pacific sponsorship spending the fastest-growing of any region in 2016 at 5.7%.
Central and South America should see strong growth as well (4.7%), while the more mature European market will experience the slowest growth (3.9%). That said, Europe’s growth rate this year is forecast to be a bit higher than last year’s 3.3% increase.