Expectations for 2021

Expectations for 2021

Quick question: Did any of your predictions for 2020 come true? How about those resolutions— how did they work out? Quite the year has passed. I thought I would ask these questions before I gaze into my 2021 crystal ball and see what’s in store!

This time last year (actually on December 31, 2019), I made three predictions and three resolutions for 2020. They appear below (with my editorial of accuracy by the end of 2020 in red)! These are abbreviated versions, but you can go back and check out the full details here.

Predictions (for the Industry)

  1. There will be a struggle in the marketplace like we have not seen since the early 2000s and the cry for help will increase. This has come true. Clearly and the reference to early 2000s should reference the 1930 or Spanish Flu pandemic to be 100% accurate.
  1. We will continue to see a shift to more and more technology. Those who fail to embrace technology in this manner will truly be left in the dust. This has truly become a reality.
  1. The two largest growth sectors of sponsorship will continue to be municipalities and e-sports. This too has become a reality. During COVID, we have seen a shift and higher profile of e-sports and sponsorship around e-sports. Likewise, municipalities continued to move forward with many new and exciting sponsorships and naming rights that were announced during the height of the pandemic first wave and throughout the summer.

Resolutions (personal)

  1. My resolution is that I will continue to try each day to make at least five people smile or enhance their day. I had more time to do this and can say that I was not perfect each day, but made a valiant attempt. During the height of the pandemic, seeing other people face to face was minimal. So not 100%, but I feel comfortable with what I achieved.
  1. My goal is to offer a substantial discount hopefully to three non-profit or charitable clients each year as opposed to one. Due to COVID, postponed agreements, and others that did not come to fruition, we were unable to offer a substantial discount to three non-profit or charitable clients in 2020, but did offer many smaller discounts and also did more fully pro bono work than normal. My goal is to do three substantial partnerships in 2021.
  1. To increase the time that I spend with my family. This became a reality. My time spent at home was fantastic. Less travel meant more time with my wife and daughter (not sure they always appreciated it, but I sure loved it). It was not just quantity of time, but also quality. Now, the question will be: Can I maintain it in the future!

I was lucky. It looks like I should be reading tea leaves and horoscopes, but the reality check on all of this is that our economy was already in trouble. We needed to shift to more technology and would have been doing so anyway, but COVID made it happen faster and with greater force. Finally, municipalities and e-sports were on track to explode. Again, COVID just amplified it.

What to expect in 2021? I am going to be simple and straightforward. Here are my three predictions.

  1. The way our world looks today is here to stay for a while, probably through mid-2022. Many predicted the “return to normal” for June or July 2020, but that has come and long gone. Reality check—the settling of our economies, trust in face-to-face interactions, return to travel and events without fear, opportunity to sample freely and engage onsite without fear are all aways off. The “return” to a “new normal” will not happen in 2021. We will move toward it, but it will not happen until at least June 2022.
  1. We will see many more casualties in 2021. More leagues, events, properties, charities, and non-profits will close their doors (just like restaurants, stores, etc.). I believe we will see two spikes in these losses, first around April 2021 when the slow winter will put the nail in the coffin of many organizations as they run out of funds with no ongoing revenue. The second will come in the fall when we have a second summer of downsized travel, existing fear, and issues around vaccines and taking them. This second round of 2021 casualties will erupt in the fall after another slow summer.
  1. On the bright side, we will see continued innovation and creativity. I think we will see sport organizations and leagues amalgamate to form stronger smaller combined entities. We will see the same in the non-profit and charitable sector with combined missions and visions to make sure no one is left out in the cold, but now through fewer larger organizations rather than many small organizations (almost like Darwinism). This will allow brands to funnel larger amounts of dollars to fewer organizations with more impact for both the properties and the sponsors. Innovation and creatively will continue to develop (as it has in the last nine months of 2020) in areas of sponsorship activations and brand exposure. Technology will be paramount.

Thank you for your continued support of the Tuesday Morning Commentary (TMC) over the past year. May 2021 bring you and yours health, happiness, prosperity, and a speedy recovery from COVID19.

Please remember to stay HIMPS! (Healthy, Isolate when possible, Masked, Physically distanced and Safe!).

© 2021 All rights reserved.


  1. Strong predictions, Brent!
    Are you able to share some of the new and exciting partnerships at the municipality level from 2020? Mostly naming rights, or other unique assets as well?
    Thanks, as always!

    • Josh,
      On the municipal side… yes we are seeing a surge of municipalities in late 2020 and early now in 2021 lookign for support either through determining naming rights or looking for sales solutions for naming rights. But most are also lookign beyond naming rights to program alignments and event alignment.


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