“There will be no more solid partnerships”


The health crisis, a lagging schedule, the conflicts in Ukraine… The sports movement has had its fair share in two years. The horizon now looks clearer, but what impact will these jolts have on the international sports ecosystem?

Partner on Purpose, the latest agency of British agency JTA, scoured the community. His team surveyed more than 600 sports marketing decision makers and experts. The results of his survey show this in numbers: the sports partnership is in full evolution. He wants to be more determined and more citizen.

JTA president Jon Tibbs answered FrancsJeux’s questions.

FrancsJeux: What is the main result of your survey on the impact of the pandemic on sports sponsorship?

Jon Tibbs : Survey results show how the COVID-19 pandemic and recent geopolitical events have made brands and rights holders think about their priorities. It’s clear that the sports marketing industry is beginning to believe that partnerships need to be more engaging, more community-driven, and geared towards real, positive change.

If you had to choose one number from all the results, what would it be?

93% of respondents agreed that the pandemic has had a profound impact on the sponsorship ecosystem. The vast majority also acknowledged that the health crisis has made partnerships between sponsors and sports organizations more difficult. Fortunately, challenges also bring new opportunities. Partner on Purpose will help sports brands build and support partnerships that make real impact and find these new opportunities.

Was this new trend in the sports sponsorship ecosystem an effect of COVID-19 or would it still show itself?

Brands are aware that the world is changing, but it is clear that the pandemic and recent geopolitical events have accelerated this change dramatically. People now want to be directly or indirectly associated with more community-focused activities and brands that are more supportive of the causes they believe in.

Who can benefit most from this new situation?

Sponsors who want to gain more visibility, collect more data and increase their sales through sports will take a more targeted and altruistic approach. In other words, partners who can be flexible and propose initiatives are focused on a genuine and lasting relationship with consumers and communities.

Who is at risk?

Brands that do not adapt and do not change their approach despite changing social values ​​around the world. The sports economy sector should be sensitive and flexible. It has to adapt. There will be no more solid business partnerships. Consumers want and expect brands to form more beneficial and meaningful partnerships.

What should sports organizations and events do to adapt to this new trend?

To show creativity. To imagine campaigns dedicated to causes that matter and to make a real difference, they will need to rethink their approach to current or future partnerships. 96% of respondents to our survey believe that partnerships between brands, athletes and sports organizations have become more focused, more innovative and more fluid. Those who are flexible and responsive to meet consumer demands and help create a more cohesive society will be the big winners in this new situation.