Making sense of big spending

If every company in the world spent 20 per cent of their marketing budget on sponsorship the sports sector would be a far, far richer place than it is now.

That percentage and more (you'll need to subscribe to know the exact figure) is currently committed by the Gulf airline Emirates to its sports sponsorship portfolio. It’s a commitment that sets the marketing activities of Emirates apart from the rest and is one that Boutros Boutros, the man responsible for the airline’s marketing and communication activities across the globe, justifies in an all-encompassing interview in Sport Sponsorship Insider this month.

Our reporter Robin Jellis spoke to Bourtos Boutros on the airline’s major club shirt sponsorship deals. The most recent are with Real Madrid, Paris St Germain and the New York Cosmos – and there could be more to come in markets all over the world, the Emirates executive revealed.

Among club football properties, he said: “Shirt sponsorship is all that counts to Emirates. If you don’t have the shirt sponsorship you only have advertising boards and that’s not for us.”

Still on football, but from the rights-holder point of view, this issue has another price-driven round up of rights held by a major governing body in football. After recent exposés on the English Premier League and German DFB, Luke Harman sheds light on the central sponsorship revenues run by the English Football Association.

The FA’s sponsorship revenues should rise in the next four-year rights cycle, we learnt, when it sells a new set of global and territory-specific international sponsorship packages.

Beyond football, the latest issue covers Aviva’s deal with Premiership Rugby, Virgin Media’s with the Commonwealth Games and a ground-breaking deal in the USA where Microsoft will pay $80m per year, from 2014, for a wealth of official NFL designations related to its Xbox game console brand and its Surface tablet brand.

Under the deal, Microsoft also becomes The Official Sideline Technology Sponsor of the NFL – a move that should consign the Official Headset Partner role, which saw the Motorola brand feature on headsets worn by NFL coaches from 1999 to 2012, to the dustbin of sponsorship history.

The commercial impact of changing technology is also highlighted in the sponsorship-related findings of The Global Sports Media Consumption Report 2013, which surveyed consumer habits across 14 markets. The report offers up a wealth of data, but to highlight two extremes: The French are least likely to be impressed by brands associating with sport via social media. The Chinese, on the other hand, are likely to be the most impressed.

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