SPONSORSHIP TODAY

Beer spons
ISBN: 2050-4888
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Beer - global sponsorship analysis

Executive Summary

GLOBAL BEER SPORTS SPONSORSHIP SPEND HITS $1.4 BILLION

Global beer sports sponsorship spend is estimated to have reached $1.4 billion. The figures are based on analysis of 420 of the leading sponsorships around the world. The estimated rights expenditure among those leading deals is $1.03 billion and it is estimated that there is a further $400 million spent on smaller sports rights globally.

LEADING BREWERS ACCOUNT FOR 50% OF SPEND

A small group of brewers, headed by ABInBev accounts for more than 80% of all beer sponsorship spend. Indeed ABInBev itself accounts for almost exactly half of the spend among the deals tracked with its flagship brands Budweiser and Bud Light leading.

USA BIGGEST MARKET

Not surprisingly the USA is the biggest beer sponsorship market accounting for nearly 52% of deals by value. This is followed by the UK (6.9%) and Germany (4.25%). International deals such as those for the FIFA World Cup, and Europe-wide deals such as the Champions League and Heineken Cup account for 2.35% and 7.9% respectively.

NATIONAL SPONSORSHIPS PREFERRED

The report suggest that most beer sponsorship is undertaken at national level – there are relatively few deals with international sports governing bodies – and quite a few have stated that they are against taking sponsorship from alcohol brands. Where rights holders with high global exposure take beer sponsorship, the majority of deals are relatively low profile and are often predominantly activated at only a local level.

NO CORRELATION BETWEEN SPONSORSHIP SPEND AND CONSUMPTION

The data finds no direct correlation between beer sponsorship spend and national consumption. Data has been analysed on a consumption and sponsorship spend per capita basis. The findings show that there is a strong correlation between consumption and disposable income, but no definite pattern to show a link between sponsorship spend and consumption.

In itself, this is not proof that sponsorship has no impact on consumption levels, but it does add to the growing body of evidence to suggest that sponsorship is not a key factor in driving alcohol sales. Major alcohol producers have always claimed that sponsorship is used to drive market share rather than market growth and the findings generally support this claim.

Indeed in major developed markets, sponsorship spend appears to be increasing in a climate of reduced or unchanged beer consumption. However these findings could be attributed to the general stagnation of major western economies and a shift towards healthier lifestyles among a proportion of the populations in question. It is, therefore, theoretically possible that sponsorship could have a minor positive impact on consumption levels, even in a declining market.

THE FUTURE

The report suggests that there is unlikely to be any major change to beer sponsorship spend patterns without regulatory or government intervention. Major brands are using sponsorship extensively to grow or support market share and although there are fewer title sponsorships and primary club sponsorship deals than in the past two decades, there are still many major deals for such properties as the NFL, the Champions League, NBA, NHL and MLB.

The only potential for significant growth is in the Chinese market which represents the world’s biggest market by consumption. However, given the relatively low levels of sponsorship in the country at present, the lower margins available to brewers and the lack of major sports properties, it is unlikely that there will be many major deals signed in the country in the near future.

REGULATORY IMPACT

The most likely impact on beer sponsorship is from legal or voluntary regulation in response to public health concerns. Already France and Russia have curtailed alcohol marketing with beer sponsorship being banned. The Australian Government has created a fund to invest in certain sports in return for a voluntary end to beer sponsorship. There is also growing pressure in several other countries for more stringent controls on alcohol sponsorship.

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