Consumers Complain About Growth of Sponsorship

24 March 2003

Nearly half of consumers across the globe declare themselves annoyed by the sheer volume of commercial sponsorship, with sport and television the worst offenders.

These are some of the findings from Mediaedge:CIA’s Medialab survey of 13,200 people in twenty countries. According to the research, 46% think global events are sponsored too much, while 50% think this is the case for sports properties and TV programmes.

Sponsorship has grown rapidly in recent years as a marketing tool, with the worldwide market now worth around $25 billion (€24bn; £16bn).

The survey suggests it is effective too. Some 45% of respondents say they notice an event’s sponsor, 51% in the case of sport. Backing an event appears to bring positive associations: 42% believe the sponsoring brands are of high quality (44% for sports).

However, there may be trouble ahead. “The growth of sponsorship has, in part, been driven by the declining effectiveness of traditional advertising media (especially television) in the face of excessive commercial clutter,” commented MediaLab director Andy Richmond. “Ironically, the ... survey would suggest the sponsorship industry faces similar challenges.”

Data sourced from: Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff