Sports sponsorships hit reverse

Sports sponsorships hit reverse
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The sports industry was hit with a 3% decline in sponsorships last year, according to Sponsorium’s new ‘Year in Review and Annual Outlook’ report.

While sport still remains the largest industry for sponsorship benchmarking the decline mimics what Sponsorium has projected throughout the year “that brands are diversifying sponsorship portfolios and moving into more non-traditional categories”.

The report released today also shows a drop off of 5% from community investment within the sports industry, with health and community events beginning to increase.

So while it appears sports sponsorship could be on the decline, the issue of alcohol sponsorship of sports has once again entered public debate due to the Greens push to ban alcohol promotion during live sport broadcasts.

This recent push isn’t the first time this issue has been raised as along with gambling and convenience food it’s not a new topic in the world of sports sponsorship and advertising, according to Adam Hodge, strategy director for Octagon Australia.

“Sport will always be, and has always been, the leading passion for Australia, and that’s why brands want to be associated with it,” said Hodge, adding that from an advertisers point of view they only want to play it safe in the environment.

“Placing advertisements where there’s a disproportionately large market that is under 18 just doesn’t make commercial sense to advertisers targeting an older demographic,” he said, referring to whether advertisers are using this “loophole” to try and reach a wider audience.

The inquiry was announced last Friday by acting leader of the Greens Richard Di Natale, claiming Australia has an “unhealthy and dangerous” drinking culture.

Di Natale claims there is a “loophole” within the regulations where alcohol can be promoted during live sports broadcasts, exempting it from the watershed window of 8.30pm.

“It's [alcohol promotion] only possible because a loophole allows alcohol ads to be shown when kids are likely to be watching TV, so long as it's during sport,” he said.

With the reports of alcohol-fuelled violence over New Year’s Di Natale is calling for a “serious discussion about the way alcohol is promoted in this country and how that relates to our drinking culture”.

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