SPORTS MARKETING

imradmin/reportimg/Global opportunities for sports marketing and consultancy services
ISBN: 978-1-905685-26-4
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Global opportunities for sports marketing, infrastructure and consultancy services to 2022

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Section 1: Evolving capabilities of sports marketing and consultancy services in the UK

Section 1.1: Description of the UK sector

This Report analysed 163 diverse businesses  that collectively make up the core of UK sports marketing and consultancy services sector as well as evaluating the best possible opportunities for new business based on one-off global sports events in both developed and developing economies globally.

Out of the 163 businesses analysed, 85% (139 businesses) are privately owned, with 2% of the companies (3 businesses ) listed on the London Stock Exchange and the remainder 13% (21 businesses) are limited liability partnerships.

Not all 163 UK sports marketing and consultancy firms analysed had filed full 2011/12 accounts at Companies House at the time of writing this Report (April 2013).

Many of the companies registered at Companies House were too small under UK company law to be required to provide detailed turnover figures. A further complication encountered was that many sports marketing firms are often part of larger advertising and marketing networks and as a result do not segment revenues by specific service offerings, such as sports marketing.

Taking the sample as a whole, the following conclusions were drawn from the data:

•    a firm with specific sports marketing revenues of GBP10m+ is a large player in the sector;
•    a firm with specific sports marketing revenues between GBP3m-GBP10m is a medium size player in the sector; and
•    a firm with specific sports marketing revenues under GBP3m is a small player in the sector.

In the UK, the sector is made up predominately of small players (under GBP3m turnover) with a healthy tier of medium size players (GBP3m-GBP10m turnover) and a handful of large players (over GBP10m turnover).

Size of the UK sector

The UK sports marketing and consultancy sector turnover is conservatively estimated to be worth GBP500-GBP750m per annum. The sector has been growing by about 7% per annum over the past five years  but this growth varies year-on-year as a result of the cyclical nature of revenues in the global sports sector where big ticket events such as an Olympic Games or a FIFA World Cup tend to fall in even-years and smaller ticket events tend to fall in odd-years.

In addition, the rate of growth of sports marketing and consultancy market opportunities differs across territories globally with the result that more established markets, such as North America, do not necessarily offer the most attractive opportunities for UK sports marketing and consultancy firms compared with opportunities available in less saturated markets, such as Qatar.

The larger players in the sector have tended to have grown as a result of the acquisition of smaller players rather than by organic growth alone and this trend is likely to continue over the next decade.

It is estimated that 85% of the sector value is completed in the UK, although there is evidence that the balance of UK versus international sports marketing and consultancy work is beginning to shift in favour of more international work.

On current estimates and assuming a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7% over the next decade, the UK sector is predicted to be worth in excess of GBP1 billion (Table 1.1).

Table 1.1: Compound Annual Growth Rate of the UK sector* (2013-2022)

compound annual growth rate of UK sports marketing sector

The outstanding sporting and commercial success of London 2012 Olympic Games put the global spotlight on the UK’s leadership in the global sports marketing and consultancy sector and created an environment where British firms stand a strong chance to secure a share of the lucrative work with global sports events, estimated to be worth GBP92 billion by 2015.

London is the predominant location for the vast majority of UK sports marketing companies’ headquarters , with the greatest concentration of secondary office locations being in mainland Europe and in Asia. More recently, some UK sports marketing and consultancy firms have opened offices in South America and the Middle East given the growth of business opportunities in those regions.

Analysis of management credibility of sports marketing and consultancy firms in this sector was difficult to assess but the research found that the sector to be heavily male-dominated and that many companies had former sporting professionals at a senior level on their board. Since the conclusion of the highly successful London 2012 Olympic Games, many high-profile senior managers from the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) have taken up prominent roles within the sector. 


About 80% of the sports marketing and consultancy work is undertaken on behalf of global brand owners (sponsors) with around 20% of work undertaken for sports rights holders and sports governing bodies. From the sample of 163 companies analysed, 75% offer a pure sports and entertainment service whereas 25% deliver sports services as part of their overall offerings.

Currently there is no standard industry code (SIC) for the sector.
Despite the tough economic climate, the sector is proving to be highly resilient and is continuing its impressive upward growth trajectory. However, sentiment in the sector tends to reflect the view that growth opportunities in the UK are sluggish in comparison with the bumper year of 2012. That said, all interviewees for this Report were unanimous in their optimism for growth and all were of the opinion that the size of the sector would double over the next decade.

Figure 1.1: UK sports marketing and consultancy sector

UK sports marketing and consultancy sector

Sports marketing agencies and advisors

The companies and firms within this vector vary the most and tend to deliver a mix of products and services. 

These companies  range from full service global agency networks (such as CSM), management consultancies that work extensively within the sports sector (such as PwC), executive recruitment and head hunters in the sector (such as Odgers), law firms in sports and entertainment (such as Pitmans SK Sport & Entertainment) brand valuation consultants (such as Brand Finance), sports market research firms (such as SMG Insight/YouGov) through to medium sized sports sponsorship and PR agencies (such as PRISM), as well as much smaller sports marketing agencies with a niche specialisation (such as 4 Global).

Marketing services providers

The companies and firms in this vector tend to deliver products.

These vary in nature, such as hospitality providers (such as the Cavendish Group), athlete and events management (such as Paragon Sports Management), linguistic service providers (such as Pearl Linguistics), travel and ticket providers (such as RPMC) and team building and employee communication companies (such as Team Tactics).

Infrastructure, technology and logistics providers

The companies and firms in this vector tend to deliver products.

This group have traditionally been those that have sourced major infrastructure projects li

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