By George Harborne
Following the announcements in early 2015 of Chelsea and Atletico Madrid partnering financial trading brands CWM FX and Plus500 respectively, Manchester City have now signed a deal with FX Primus. It is, therefore, worth taking a bit more of a look at this industry and its potential as a new sponsorship revenue source.
The announcements follow the likes of IG on board with Harlequins, GWFX with Swansea City, Alpari with West Ham, FXCM with Warwickshire CCC, IronFX with Barcelona and, of course, TradeNext with Derby County to name but a few.
The influx of brands using sport as a marketing platform places greater importance on a partnership in this industry being unique and allowing the relevant brand to truly differentiate its brand message from others utilising sport as a marketing tool.
TradeNext, for example, has made a big effort to diversify the nature of its sports marketing activity, using its partnership with Derby County as a springboard to launch the highly successful 'Search For An Asian Football Star' (SFAAFS, http://tradenextsport.com/). The company's commitment to the development of grassroots football and the creation of opportunities for youngsters moves beyond the usual inventory that has become associated with this type of partnership.
Financial trading sponsors - the benefits
Some of the partnerships have clear benefits to the brands sponsoring when we consider overseas travel costs and transfer spends, with the industry also facilitating physical delivery of funds and currency exchange. This isn't the case for all of the sports teams that are being partnered with though as international financial transactions aren't necessarily a major issue for many.
Which sports should financial trading brands be looking to partner? How can these brands best differentiate their partnerships now that many of the key players now have sports partnerships? How should the success of these partnerships be measured?
It will be interesting to see if, over the next year or so, more of these brands partner sports rights holders. There are certainly clear benefits to be gained for both parties. The sponsors could, for example, offer very competitive exchange rates as part of the deal - indeed it could even be considered a contra element in some cases. Likewise, could sports clubs make direct offers of foreign exchange services to fans in much the same way they currently do with credit cards, insurance and bank accounts etc?
Will banks react and use sponsorship to highlight financial trading services?
It will, therefore, be particularly interesting to see if the length of these contracts tends to be greater than for some other industry sectors. We obviously won't really see this trend until renewal time for a lot of the deals and that is likely to be two to three years from now in most cases. In the case of Manchester City, however, the new deal with FXPrimus replaces that with FOREX, so there is clearly an appetite among both the rights holder and the sponsoring industry for this type of deal. We don't of course know why the FOREX deal ended. In the meantime it will be interesting to see whether other players in the industry invest in sports and whether some of the bigger banks try to promote their trading services to counter this competitive industry sector.
Senior Partnership Sales Executive at Derby County Football Club
European Soccer Sponsorship report 2014/15