Airline Industry – Total Sponsorship Profile

Airline Industry – Total Sponsorship Profile

This week, I thought we might look at a single division within the worldwide sponsorship sector. For some, these numbers may be unfathomable. But the reason for looking at them is to illustrate how big this sector truly is. When I started 34+ years ago, sponsorship dollars were “left over dollars”. They were not budgeted, meaning that when all the spending planning (media, PR, GR, creative etc.) was complete, if there was money left over, someone would say, “Hey, we have some left over budget. Why don’t we support the Rotary Club Golf Tournament as a sponsor and take some clients?” Or, “Hey, let’s sponsor that new gym that the Boys and Girls Club is trying to raise funds for and put our name on it for $10,000.” Perhaps it was about sponsoring a hockey or soccer team, but it was left over money. It was “throw away money.”

Today, according to the Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study, sponsorship and experiential marketing in Canada alone account for about 23-28% of marketing budgets! That means for every dollar spent on marketing and communications, about 25 cents goes to sponsorship and experiential marketing. This is a big industry. The only channel of marketing still growing faster than sponsorship and experiential marketing is digital! So understand clearly—you work in an industry that engages consumers and influences buying decisions like no other single medium in marketing. Whether it’s what the airline industry spends world wide or what your local pizza joint spends in sponsorships, it is important and you are a part of that.

Here are the facts about sponsorship and airlines according to Research and Markets

  • The airlines presently have invested in short- and long-term deals a total of $4.41 billion with 295 active deals.
  • That breaks down to $1 billion per year across those 295 deals.
  • Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, and NetJets share the “title” of most active airline brands with 19 deals each.
  • Qatar and Emirates rank as the biggest spenders with annual investments of $188.4 million and $267.7 million respectively.
  • Delta Airlines follows with a $100.1 million per year spend mostly attributed to sport sponsorship, including but not limited to Yankee Stadium and Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • Soccer dominates airline sponsorships with 40.3% of the deals and 53.5% of the spend!
  • Basketball and golf follow after soccer both in number of deals and share of dollars.
  • Airlines are starting to reinvest in F1 sponsorship with the exponential growth of the sport. For decades, airlines avoided being associated with F1 due to the “crashes.”
  • 5% of all the sponsorship deals originate from U.S.-based airline brands, while 29.1% come from European headquartered airline brands.
  • The top five most valuable active deals for airlines are with soccer teams.
  • Venue deals rank as the second highest revenue generator at 22% of all revenue led by agreements with sport teams and venues.

If you need to come back to earth and relate to local dollars and investments after reading this, you might want to attend the WSC® – Municipal Sponsorship Summit being hosted February 27-28 in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

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