Driven by corporate interest in sponsorship as a platform to support international expansion—as well as increased opportunities for brands to partner with rightsholders beyond the properties' home markets—global sponsorship spending is projected to grow 4.7 percent in 2016, according to IEG’s 31st annual year-end industry review and forecast.

At that rate, worldwide spending would grow faster than any of the previous three years and would top $60.2 billion.

TOTAL GLOBAL SPONSORSHIP SPENDING
TOTAL GLOBAL SPONSORSHIP SPENDING

North America, the world’s largest sponsorship market, should also see strong growth this year, with spending up 4.5 percent over 2015. This would be a rebound following two years in which the growth rate, while still above four percent, declined. Growth in 2015 was 4.1 percent, slightly higher than the four percent projected in last year’s forecast.

North American sponsorship spending was $21.4 billion in 2015 and is expected to grow to $22.4 billion this year.

TOTAL NORTH AMERICAN SPONSORSHIP SPENDING
TOTAL NORTH AMERICAN SPONSORSHIP SPENDING

While the aforementioned appeal of using sponsorship to build regional and global brands applies to marketers based in all parts of the world, Chinese and Indian sponsors have been particularly active, with brands such Huawei, Haier, ZTE, Tata and Mahindra partnering with rightsholders in multiple countries. Those types of deals—combined with strong domestic spending in China, India, South Korea, Japan and other countries—are expected to make Asia Pacific sponsorship spending the fastest growing of any region in 2016 at 5.7 percent.

Central and South America should see strong growth as well (4.7 percent), while the more mature European market will experience the slowest growth (3.9 percent), despite a significant rebound from 2015’s 3.3 percent rate.

GLOBAL SPONSORSHIP SPENDING BY REGION
GLOBAL SPONSORSHIP SPENDING BY REGION

Sponsorship Growth Compared to Advertising and Other Marketing Mix Components

Sponsorship’s global growth is projected to be on par with spending for advertising, marketing and promotion. According to the worldwide media and marketing forecast produced by IEG parent company GroupM—the global media investment management operation of WPP Group plc.—global ad spending will increase 4.5 percent in 2016, while spending on other forms of marketing—including public relations, direct marketing and promotions—is also expected to grow by 4.5 percent.

ANNUAL GROWTH OF ADVERTISING, MARKETING/PROMOTION AND SPONSORSHIP- GLOBAL
ANNUAL GROWTH OF ADVERTISING, MARKETING/PROMOTION AND SPONSORSHIP- GLOBAL

In North America, sponsorship growth should outpace the other forms of marketing, with ad spending expected to grow just 2.6 percent and other marketing spending up 3.7 percent, according to the GroupM report.

ANNUAL GROWTH OF ADVERTISING, MARKETING/PROMOTION AND SPONSORSHIP- NORTH AMERICA
ANNUAL GROWTH OF ADVERTISING, MARKETING/PROMOTION AND SPONSORSHIP- NORTH AMERICA

Spending Across North American Property Types

In what has become a familiar story, the property types that receive the most dollars are expected to again grow at the fastest rates, as sponsors continue to invest marketing dollars in properties that can deliver customized benefits, integration with digital and social content, insights from audience data, and top-notch servicing.

NORTH AMERICAN SPONSORSHIP SPENDING BY PROPERTY TYPE
NORTH AMERICAN SPONSORSHIP SPENDING BY PROPERTY TYPE

PROJECTED 2016 SHARES OF NORTH AMERICAN SPONSORSHIP MARKET
PROJECTED 2016 SHARES OF NORTH AMERICAN SPONSORSHIP MARKET