Personalisation and synergy are vital to future of brand sponsorship in sports

Sports affiliations make up a large proportion of marketing and advertising techniques in the modern world, which can both encourage a favorable brand image or emphasise outdated values in a fast-evolving industry, says GlobalData. The leading data and analytics company notes that it is important to recognise that synergy between brands and influencers – whether in sports or other industries – is of the upmost importance, particularly as these influencers have global platforms in which to share their personal experiences and values.

According to GlobalData’s 2021 Q1 consumer survey, 73% of consumers globally are influenced by how the world around them is changing. This represents a necessary, but equally lucrative opportunity for brands to innovate products that tie in with current economic and social themes, which would apply to the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, which is forecasted to reach $9.2 trillion globally in 2021.

Holly Inglis, Beverages Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Tokyo Olympics 2020 provided a platform for athletes worldwide and many were seen expressing their individuality, with Tom Daley knitting in the stands and Simone Biles pulling out of the games to focus on her mental health. Brands need to recognise that athletes are their own people, and play to these humanising strengths as partners, rather than just sponsors.”

Christiano Ronaldo’s Coca-Cola snub is an example of conflicting values and spurred similar expressions of personal beliefs by other footballers, like French footballer, Paul Pogba, who removed a bottle of Heineken 0.0%, emphasising links to his religion.

Inglis continues: “In this case, although Heineken is encouraging consumption of non-alcoholic beer, which is in line with many consumer trends across the globe, producers should consider personalising who they chose to sponsor their products, by taking into consideration that individuals are likely to have different personal beliefs, cultures and religions, which may not directly harmonise with all products.”

GlobalData’s research highlights that 82%* of people’s product choices are influenced by how well it is tailored to their personality, with a quarter (24%) agreeing this is of the upmost importance, and refocusing the narrative that personalisation plays a vital role in purchasing behaviors.

Inglis adds: “Consumers are continuing to seek out products that emphasise individualisation and expression, which can also be applied to influencers; Biles has been applauded for putting herself first and bringing awareness to mental health. Consumers will be extremely responsive to celebrity endorsements, sponsorships and sports affiliations, which ultimately have the power to create a whole new narrative on sponsored products.

“These occurrences are backed by the power of social media; Ronaldo is one of the most followed celebrities in the world on Instagram, and a large proportion of his following are likely to adopt, and mirror, his belief system, which could have catastrophic effects on brands if sponsorship is not aligned.”

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