The Greater Fusion of Sports and Entertainment – A New Horizon for Sponsorship Engagement

The Greater Fusion of Sports and Entertainment – A New Horizon for Sponsorship Engagement

October 4th, 2017 Posted by

As a music lover and sports lover, there isn’t too much more in the world that gives me more pleasure than a combination of both.

Trend #4 in Nielsen Sports’ Commercial Trends in Sport 2017 looks at The Greater Fusion of Sports and Entertainment. Whilst the trend discusses more than just music and makes mention of fan zones, access to talent etc, the statistics within the report are phenomenal.

  • 25% of the US population have attended a musical event at, or connected to, a sporting event.
  • 16% attended a musical performance connected to a sporting event – of which 46% did not even attend the sporting event.

What Does This Mean?

In the 3rd entry in this series, we discussed the changing attention spans forcing rights holders to re-think. This is exhibit-A of that re-think and aren’t the results huge?

The opportunities this presents include:

  • diversity in engagement opportunities audiences;
  • a broader set of rights to commercialise;
  • opportunities to generate more value for sponsors and audiences; and
  • the chance to grow and own an otherwise unreachable fan base.

How Can Rights Holders Use These Opportunities?

The generation of greater content around sport gives rights holders the chance to broaden the rights offered to partners. This true mix of content helps to engage a genuinely diverse audience and brings newly engaged people in front of partners in ways that can hold their attention.

Commercial opportunities then follow through to the potential engagement of brands not even interested in the sporting element of rights holders but who are looking to utilise the pulling power of rights holders to access audiences they otherwise might struggle to reach.

How Can Sponsors Use These Opportunities?

Sports sponsorship is not for every brand. I am a believer though that sponsorship, in general, is the best way to access audiences that traditional marketing and advertising can’t reach as effectively.

Depending on the rights available, the demographic involved, or objectives of the brand, entertainment-based content may be more suitable.

Using entertainment content to draw attention to the brand through aligning available benefits with stated objectives can provide a whole new layer of engagement. This is true even if not coupled with sporting based rights, to this new audience, by taking advantage of the community pulling power of the rights holder.

Why Is This Important?

The emergence of this trend shows the power of sporting rights holders and how it is growing.

Rights holders aren’t just sporting teams anymore. The big ones are more akin to media companies with massive reach and huge engagement opportunities that are becoming more and more difficult for brands to ignore as part of their marketing mix.

As Nielsen’s report mentions, sporting events are likely to become multi-day festivals culminating with the match or sporting content, providing brands with almost endless ways of finding engaging ways to use these opportunities to find value and engagement.

Looks like my opportunities for entertainment are only going to get better!

DOWNLOAD – Commercial Trends in Sport 2017 by Nielsen Sports


Mark Thompson - SponServe

Mark Thompson // Managing Director

Mark specialises in sponsorship and diversified income strategies and has used this expertise across the Community, Semi-Professional and Professional Sports sectors. He combines hands-on experience in managing the expectations and obligations of sponsors with marketing and stakeholder engagement to deliver outstanding results.


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