CHICAGO: Sponsorship expenditure on fairs, festivals and annual events is forecast to rise 2.9% in the US in 2013, taking total spend in this category to $849m, new projections have shown.

According to IEG, the sponsorship research specialists which produced the latest set of figures, expenditure on sports events also rose 6% year-on-year while entertainment increased 5.1% and cause sponsorship by 4.8%. The sponsorship market as a whole is expected to expand by 5.5%.

While lagging behind these other categories, sponsorship of fairs and festivals remains popular because of opportunities to reach consumers during the summer, a season when it is often harder to reach people using the above-the-line channels.

William Chipps, a senior editor at IEG, said the events were continuing to attract marketers looking to build a local presence.

"Fairs and festivals continue to benefit from banks, auto dealerships and other categories looking to strengthen their local positioning," he said.

In addition to banks, the IEG research shows that beverage companies are among the most active in this particular sector of the sponsorship market.

PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors are the four largest sponsors of fairs, festivals and annual events in terms of the number of deals they negotiate.

Global sponsorship expenditure is forecast to rise 2% to $52.1bn in 2013, according to recent analysis from Warc based on projections compiled in December 2012 by GroupM, WPP's media investment unit.

The analysis also suggests that total sponsorship spending in the US, the world's largest market, will reach $19.9bn in 2013 with sports accounting for 69% of this expenditure, compared to 10% for entertainment, 9% for causes, 5% for arts and 4% for festivals, fairs and annual events.

Data sourced from PR Web; additional content by Warc staff