SINGAPORE: The sponsorship market in Asia this year is forecast to grow at around one quarter the rate of 2014 and half that of 2013, according to the latest figures from ASN.

Spending on non-traditional media – defined as sponsorship, branded content, native and influencer marketing – grew at 14% in 2013 before leaping ahead by 28% in 2014, thanks to the number of major sporting platforms that came together in the same year, Mumbrella reported.

"Bigger sports platforms like the FIFA World Cup, the Youth Olympics, the Asian Games and the Asian Beach Games last year – on two or four year cycles – created outlier growth in 2014 but they have come out of the market in 2015," said Ben Heyhoe Flint, CEO of ASN.

Sponsorship revenues for June's Southeast Asian Games, held in Singapore, far exceeded expectations, however, totalling US$43m.

Heyhoe Flint also reported "enormous gains in North Asia this year" that had helped to fill in the gaps, "especially China where brands are paying over-inflationary rates to be associated with content."

Overall, ASN predicted that spending on non-traditional media in 2015 would rise 7% to reach US$5.33bn.

"The endorsement of celebrities and teams is also taking up a big proportion of the market as brands in Asia continue to be dazzled by stardom," Heyhoe Flint added.

The value of such sponsorship has been regarded as being of most benefit in reaching committed fans, but research from Octagon, the sports marketing agency, suggests that a better signifier is their level of interactivity.

According to Octagon, while fan "avidity" has a positive effect on predisposition towards sponsorship support, the difference in this predisposition between moderately passionate fans and avid fans is negligible.

Compared to avidity, the level of a fan's interactivity and how he or she consumes content correlates more strongly with sways in purchase behaviour that are influenced by brand sponsorship messages.

Data sourced from Mumbrella; additional content by Warc staff