Confidence amongst sponsorship industry professionals has increased slightly in the European Sponsorship Association’s continent-wide survey, with brands and sponsors continuing to retain a positive outlook.
Wave five of the ESA Sponsorship Sentiment Tracker, conducted throughout September and early October, has found that overall confidence has risen slightly to an average of 6.2 out of 10, up from 6.1 in wave four (conducted in August and early September).
The Sponsorship Sentiment Tracker has been held monthly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, surveying more than 800 senior industry leaders across Europe in order to gauge the health and confidence of leading sponsorship organisations.
With an average confidence score remaining steady at 6.6/10, brands continue to be the most positive about the overall health of the sponsorship industry. Agency confidence increased markedly in wave five, from 5.7 to 6.4, while rights holders’ positivity dipped slightly, down 0.3 points to 5.8.
Encouragingly, the pandemic has spurred both rights holders and agencies to do more to measure and evaluate sponsorship. Some 53% of rights holders and 50% of agencies report they are doing more to measure their partnership results during COVID-19, with just 12% and 6% respectively doing less evaluation. For brands, 32% are measuring more and 50% the same amount.
When asked if they had finalised contractual conversations about sponsorship deals affected by COVID-19, 27% of organisations said they had successfully completed negotiations. A further 38% have agreed partial or short-term compromises, with 35% either still waiting for the full financial impact to become clear or yet to start negotiations.
ESA Chairman, Andy Westlake, said: “ESA’s Sponsorship Sentiment Tracker demonstrates that brand-side marketers are consistently the most confident constituent in our community. That positivity can only have positive trickle down impact on the rest of our industry.
ESA members and the wider sponsorship community continue to find innovative ways of overcoming the challenges the sport and entertainment sector faces and we’ll see the fruits of those labours in the ESA Awards. While we certainly see a difficult recovery process in the short term, these results reassuringly demonstrate there is much to be positive about and plenty of green shoots for those in the industry.”