SINGAPORE: Sponsorship revenues are set to record substantial growth in Asia this year, having witnessed a slowdown over the course of 2009.

According to estimates from Fuse, the specialist agency owned by Omnicom Group, brand owners are likely to heighten their activity in this area, reflecting the global economic recovery.

"We saw last year a big drop off – to about $1.5bn (€1.2bn; £1bn) worth of contracts being transacted in Asia," said Ben Heyhoe Flint, who heads up Fuse‘s operations in Asia.

"We see that leaping up to about just over $2bn for 2010, that's the forecast at the moment. I don't know if it's going to fully materialise this year, but certainly by 2011, we should be back on track."

Companies in the apparel, consumer electronics and apparel industries have typically displayed the most interest in this sector, a trend that is likely to continue going forward.

One shift which has taken place, however, is that many financial services providers have reined in their outlay on sponsorship following the onset of the recession.

More positively, many governmental bodies across the region are now becoming more involved with this marketing channel.

At present, sporting competitions are responsible for an estimated 85% of all category spending, an overall picture that is broadly in-keeping with other markets.

The Asian Games, being held in China this year, is one high-profile opportunity for firms to reach large numbers of consumers.

It has signed up a broad range of partners, a group that includes Samsung, China Mobile, JDB and China Telecom.

Recent research from R3 has found that Coca-Cola and Nike are among the organisations that have derived the greatest benefit from their official associations with individuals and events.

Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola's chief executive, has also previously argued that the payback from its formal engagement with events like the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Shanghai Expo will be long term in nature.

Data sourced from Today Online; additional content by Warc staff