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Sponsorship industry confidence on the rise, reports ESA survey

(Photo by PAUL ELLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The European Sponsorship Association (ESA) has reported a “sharp rise in confidence” across both the UK and continental Europe in the third wave of its sponsorship industry-wide survey.

The latest results from the ESA Sponsorship Sentiment Tracker, conducted in late June and July, indicated the sponsorship community’s confidence has continued to rise from the lows caused by Covid-19 pandemic in April.

Confidence among sponsorship practitioners has risen to 6.3 out of 10, up from an average of 5.7 in wave two, conducted in May.

Respondents in the UK saw confidence rise from an average of 5.6 to 6.2, putting confidence levels on-par with continental Europe, where average confidence grew from 5.7 to 6.2.

As with previous results, brands remain most confident about the future of sponsorship, with an average score of 6.7/10. Agencies saw the biggest jump in positivity, from 5.6 to 6.3, while the average confidence score for rights-holders was 6.0, an increase of 0.4.

Andy Westlake, chairman of ESA, said brands, agencies and rights-holders across Europe are feeling much more positive than they were even a month ago.

He said: “As more events return, new sponsorship deals being agreed and tentative plans for fans to return to stadiums are laid out, there are encouraging signs for the sport and entertainment industry.

“Importantly, with so many major events on the horizon, a confident sponsorship industry can play a role in the wider economic recovery.”

ESA also surveyed sponsorship professionals on their strategy and planning for the coming months. Some 52 per cent of respondents have moved events from 2020 into 2021, with 35 per cent planning to move events towards the end of 2020 and 35 per cent planning for a second Covid-19 wave.

More than a third of organisations are anticipating a return to the office over the next six months, with only 11 per cent having plans to close offices and move to remote working permanently.

To date, more than 540 thought leaders and senior sponsorship professionals from across Europe have responded to the Sponsorship Sentiment Tracker.